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Bevan Davidson International in Swaffham develops newly-fitted ambulances which are like ‘hospital-on-wheels’

An engineering company in Swaffham has designed and developed a new electric ambulance which has been described as “a hospital on wheels”.

Bevan Davidson International has designed a fully-equipped electric ambulance that after testing is completed, will be mass-produced and distributed to our national health authorities and overseas customers.

The proto-type ambulance has a stainless steel chassis built by Bevan Davidson which is guaranteed for up to 100 years, compared to current ambulance chassis in the UK which are only used for approximately seven years.

The newly designed ambulance will be like a hospital on wheels
The newly designed ambulance will be like a hospital on wheels

This new emergency vehicle will have active air suspension, enabling it “to lean into bends” in a similar way to a motorbike so gravity only pushes passengers downwards and never sideways “which is very good for patients laying on stretchers”, according to Phil Bevan, founder and chief engineer of Bevan Davidson.

Mr Bevan is behind the idea of creating the new ambulance to help support paramedics in the “most challenging of circumstances” and provide the best care and medical assistance that can be delivered. This will result in better patient outcomes, which in turn will help save lives as “the patient is treated at the point of contact.”

After spending a day, as an observer with a paramedic team based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Mr Bevan realised that the team could sometimes, due to the amount of calls, go all day without eating so he wanted to ensure the ambulance included everything staff would need.

New fully equipped electric ambulance is being produced by Swaffham company
New fully equipped electric ambulance is being produced by Swaffham company

Mr Bevan said: “Our ambulance has a 12-volt fridge between the driver and passenger seat, on top of the dash is a 12-volt kettle with two mugs that are buried into the dash so you can't spill them.

“There is also a chemical toilet fitted so a person can go when they need to.”

“Our ambulance is bigger and much safer inside. The stretcher is in the middle of the floor, so a patient is more accessible from all angles. It is like a hospital on wheels which is something we are very proud of.

“Using a fully electric ambulance would also save the government money in running costs, in addition to the time and money saved as patients can be treated inside the vehicle at the scene rather than waiting until they arrive at the hospital.”

The ‘Integro E’ ambulance uses carbon batteries which are safer than lithium batteries and will last for over 15 years.

The ambulance will be able to travel up to 800 miles on a full battery charge. To change the battery with the patented system in place would take just over four minutes, enabling the vehicle to be on the road much sooner and for longer.

The company is currently testing one ambulance while building another, and Mr Bevan hopes to go into production at a larger site in the North of England, next year.

“From this site, the ambulance could be exported from Teesside to overseas customers, as it is the only bespoke ambulance of its kind in the world,” he added. “It is like a Rolls Royce with patients needs.”

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