THE AMBULANCE service is set to take ownership of a fleet of 30 new vehicles specially adapted for wheelchair users.

The new vehicles are Fiat Doblos which, following adaption can accommodate a standard wheelchair and four passengers or a specialised wheelchair and two passengers.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has taken delivery of the first eight of 30 Patient Transport Service vehicles, with the remaining 22 vehicles to be delivered over the next few months.

These vehicles are replacing 30, 2011 registered non-emergency ambulances as part of the trust’s vehicle replacement programme.

Head of patient transport Ian Stringer said: “We are thrilled with the new style of vehicle being introduced, as they can easily accommodate wheelchairs of all types.

"By moving to a different model, we have also realised a cost saving, not only on the procurement of the vehicles themselves, but also these vehicles will reduce our need to use third party providers.”