Welsh Ambulance Service invests £32 million in Tetra

The Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust is revamping its digital communications network so that it can communicate directly with other emergency services, speed up response times and enhance patient care, in a 32 million project that kicks off in April.

The project's second phase starts in June this year, with the aim of completing work by early 2009.

The trust has signed a ten-year deal with O2 Airwave and SunGard Vivista to implement secure data services that will enable paramedics to deliver better on-scene care.

In addition, ambulance staff will be equipped with new radio terminals, while the service's fleet of 827 vehicles - 454 of which are emergency vehicles - and three helicopters will also be kitted out with radios.

A third of the fleet will have also benefit from new data terminals, while the three control rooms will be equipped with integrated communications control systems (ICCS).

Innovative tools and services such as status messaging, alert paging, resource/incident location and mobilisation messaging will also help staff to speed up response times and better care for those in need of their services.

"The system, already in use with other emergency services and public bodies, for example the Police, Fire and Highways Agency, will provide robust and reliable radio communications to paramedics and ambulance staff across Wales," said Alan Murray, chief executive for the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.

"It will replace all existing communication equipment in ambulance control centres and stations and will provide staff with immediate and dependable communications with other emergency services whether attending local incidents, or wider national events. The investment marks a significant step forward in the trust's modernisation of the service in Wales and will enhance patient care and improve service delivery."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.