First ever National Ambulance uniform to save NHS £3.4m

13th January 2017  


A landmark project which has created the first ever standardised uniform for use by UK Ambulance Trusts is set to deliver £3.4million in savings for the NHS.

The project will save Ambulance Trusts the cost of more than an entire year’s expenditure on uniform items (equivalent to around 165,000 garments per annum) over just four years - the equivalent of funding approximately 100 paramedics.

It will streamline the number of different clothing items used by paramedics and other ambulance staff nationwide, reducing the number of local variations on essential garments such as shirts, T-shirts, trousers, fleeces, jackets and high vis vests from over 80 to just 16. The framework also provides a platform for cost savings, standardisation and rationalisation of a range of additional items procured.

As well as saving the tax payer an estimated 37% over the four year duration of the initial contract when compared to the previous costs, the garments have been independently tested to highly rigorous standards to ensure they are the most hard wearing and robust uniform items available to UK ambulance staff.

Daren Hopkinson, Chair of the National Ambulance Procurement Group and Head of Procurement, North West Ambulance Service, said: “This project demonstrates how like-minded NHS organisations across the UK, with a common requirement, can successfully collaborate to achieve quality and efficiency benefits. Ultimately the 37% saving feeds into our organisations’ primary objective, which is sustained patient care.”

In addition to standardising the core items which form the major part of a staff member’s uniform, the project has also given Ambulance Trusts access to a pool of approved suppliers to order other work wear items and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including helmets and safety footwear, which will create additional cost savings and ensure a compliant route to market for the Trusts purchasing them.

The majority of Ambulance Services in England, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland are either now wearing, or in the process of migrating to, the new core uniform.

The new uniform will be phased in as Trusts replace worn out items used by existing staff and issue uniforms to new recruits joining the service. The approach creates the opportunity for staff to retain the same uniform if they transfer to other Trusts.

For more information, please contact James Richards, National Ambulance Procurement Delivery Manager at the NHS Commercial Alliance Tel: 07798 572028

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