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Lord Carter calls for standard ambulances to help procurement

Will Carter‘s report lead to investment in the ambulance fleet?


Lord Carter has called for a standard model of ambulance to increase the NHS’s purchasing power.


The ambulance sector called for a productivity review in 2016 to help it understand how it could improve its efficiency, value and service. Lord Carter’s report has identified ways the NHS could make £500m of savings up to 2020/21.


The report said that the NHS needs to reduce the rate of ambulance transfers from 58% to 50%.


Lord Carter found that there were 32 different types of ambulance models in use. He proposed a standard model with a standard kit list. This would increase the NHS’s purchasing power and simplify procurement. Trusts plan to lease or buy 2,600 ambulances over the next five years, but Lord Carter said that the fleet needed 3,300 more vehicles.


Lord Carter proposed training paramedics to give more treatment at the scene, as this would result in quicker turnarounds and keep patients out of hospital. And he said that technology such as black boxes and CCTV would help drive up productivity.


He has also called on the NHS to give patients better access to community health services. Proposals included longer opening hours for GPs and more urgent treatment centres.


Further information

NHS Improvement: Lord Carter’s review into unwarranted variation in NHS ambulance trusts