AMBULANCES across Wales will be getting upgraded technology to help with communication between the crews and control rooms.

The Welsh Ambulance Service is carrying out a £23million technology refresh on its ambulances to help improve the way information is passed between the service’s control rooms and the frontline crews delivering care to patients.

In total, around 800 ambulances will have the high-tech Mobile Data Vehicle Solution (MDVS) installed, including a new vehicle data router and tablet device.

The upgrade is expected to be completed by late spring 2024, but a dozen ambulances in Haverfordwest, Bangor, Newtown, Merthyr Tydfil and Bargoed have already had these installed to test the system and they have now responded to more than 2,000 incidents.

Jonny Sammut, Welsh Ambulance Service’s director of digital, said: “Reliable communications technology is vital to keep the wheels turning on our ambulance service.

“This technology refresh signals a new era in our communications, and one which will enhance the important link between the colleagues in the control room and the crews in the community delivering care to patients.

“Collaborating with partners to source and install the new equipment means the refresh can also be completed locally, minimising the downtime of vehicles and in turn the disruption to our day-to-day operations.”

The work to replace the communication systems for ambulance trusts in both England and Wales – which will see a further 780 ambulance vehicles in Wales fitted with the technology – is being led by the ARP – Ambulance Radio Programme, who developed the technology and brought together the partners involved.

ARP director Duncan Bray said: “ARP is pleased to see that collaboration between Panasonic and Telent will support the implementation of the MDVS into Wales.

“This is a prime example of collaborative working benefitting everyone involved.

“The go-live for WAST continues the ARP success of recent MDVS deployments to other ambulance trusts nationally throughout England.”

Alongside the ARP, the trust is collaborating with Terrafix, Telent, Panasonic, Centerprise and Ordnance Survey (OS) on the upgrade,

Telent engineers will be upgrading six ambulance vehicles per day, fitting ruggedised Panasonic Toughbook tablets and a vehicle data router capable of connecting to multiple bearers – including the Emergency Services Network – providing a resilient connection to mobile communications networks across Wales.