Obese patients call on specialist ambulance 300 times in 11-month trial period

David Sexby

David Sexby - Credit: Archant

A new bariatric ambulance vehicle in Ipswich has been called to more than 300 incidents in its 11-month trial.

The figures emerged as an ambulance bariatric care specialist, who worked on the vehicle during its trial that ended earlier this year, was presented with an award for his innovative work on bariatric – obese – patient care.

David Sexby is the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s complex patient support lead and quality improvement fellow, and he was presented with the award for quality in education and training last Thursday by Health Education East of England.

Mr Sexby said: “During the 11-month trial, the bariatric vehicle has attended more than 300 incidents and our crews are now starting to request the vehicle more often, mainly for its specialist equipment.”

One of these items is a mechanical CPR device, which enables better cardiac arrest management and safer transport of the patient to hospital.

Mr Sexby said the device had proved so successful that it was going to be put on all ambulance officer cars in the next few months to support frontline crews across the region.

The trust will also be introducing 16 sets of bariatric equipment, which includes a larger lifting cushion, an electronic bariatric stretcher and the mechanical CPR device. These sets will be based with 24-hour ambulance officers across the region and will be brought into service following training.

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Trust chief executive Dr Anthony Marsh said: “David has made a huge difference in the way the trust responds to bariatric patients and has achieved incredible amounts in the last year.”