New Ambulance to Tackle Obesity Crisis

Thursday, 09 June, 2011

Leading first aid charity St John Wales is preparing to assist the NHS with the country's rising obesity problem with a new specialist bariatric ambulance.

The ambulance can carry patients weighing up to 50 stone and is equipped with bariatric-specific equipment; including a wheelchair capable of taking a patient of 350kg, an air-lifting seat, and a specialist bariatric stretcher.

According to the 2010 Welsh Health Survey over half of adults in Wales are overweight or obese, and one fifth (21%) of all adults and children are classified as obese. People are classified as obese when their body mass index (BMI) goes over 30.

Dorien Williams, Director of St John Wales' Patient Transport Service, said the bariatric ambulance could help to relieve the burden on the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.

He said: "These vehicles are specifically designed to cope with the additional requirements and safety aspects of moving bariatric patients in our community. We have seen an increase in demand for this service and we hope that by carrying out this type of work frontline vehicles will be free to respond to urgent calls."

The NHS spends an estimated £7bn every year on obesity or bariatric-related disorders. Nearly a quarter of British adults are now overweight, which has created huge problems for ambulance crews.

St John Wales will also be offering its specialist bariatric service to help support Social Services, care homes, nursing homes,GP surgeries and private patients.

To discuss your bariatric patient transport needs contact St John Wales on 02920 449631 or visit the website

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