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St Vincents Sydney improves patient transport with IVECO Dailys

One of Australia’s busiest hospitals has gone back to IVECO to increase its patient transport capabilities

St Vincent’s Sydney has made a move to up its patient transport capabilities with the delivery of new IVECO Daily models.

As one of Australia’s largest and busiest hospitals, Sydney’s St Vincent’s is responsible for up to 60 patient transfers per day, as clients are discharged after treatment or moved to other facilities to continue rehabilitation or alternative treatments.

Three new IVECO Daily 35S180 vans were recently acquired by St Vincent’s to help with this transportation, joining a further two Daily vans already on fleet that have now achieved more than 300,000km of trouble-free running.

St Vincent’s Hospital transport and fleet manager Bob Morris says the excellent performance of the earlier vans was a strong driver of his latest purchase decision.

“The reliability of the first vans has been outstanding; given the nature of what we do, we can’t afford any breakdowns or issues, because it’s just not inconvenient, it could also affect the welfare of our patients,” Morris says.

It would be difficult for St Vincent’s to find a better or more suitably experienced person to manage the hospital’s fleet.

A paramedic with 34 years’ experience, Morris retired for a couple of years before becoming restless and deciding to return to the workforce, but rather than re-joining at the frontline, he became involved in fleet management. Now, 12 years on, he’s still going strong.

“I try to participate in at least one patient transfer per month, but it ends up being a lot more than that,” Morris says.

“A recent trip saw me take one of our patients about 300km in one of the new Daily vans, it was so comfortable both for me and for the patient – initially they were a little worried about the length of the travel but slept all the way, such is the quality of the ride.”

The three new IVECO Daily vans all share the same drivetrain: IVECO’s mid spec 180hp Euro6 engine and smooth shifting 8-speed fully automatic transmission. Two of the vans have volume of 12m³, while the third is a larger 16m³ unit that sits on a longer wheelbase and also features rear airbag suspension.

All three vans feature IVECO’s high roof option that provides a generous 1900mm internal standing height. The vans are also well equipped with safety features.

“The high roof allows plenty of room to stand-up straight in the van when assisting patients to get in and out, it reduces the risk of any of our staff hurting their backs during transfers,” Morris says.

“Safety is another important aspect we consider when choosing vans for our fleet and the standard safety equipment in the Dailys goes well beyond what we require.”

Morris says the internal fit-out of the vehicles takes the vans to the next level.

The vans feature adjustable rear seating permitting a variety of configurations depending on patient requirements, as well as anchor points for wheelchairs and medical equipment. One of the vans is also fitted with a wheelchair hoist for easy ingress and egress. Other equipment includes Hovermatts for easy lateral patient transfers and fully electric stretchers.

The ample space in the back of the vans also allows patient-specific medical equipment to be moved from the ward and secured for the journey. To handle the electrical requirements of the equipment, all vans are fitted with pure sine wave inverters that mimic mains power.

To ensure more comfortable travel, the rear of the vans are air conditioned, while internal cameras allow the patient transport officers to better monitor their clients while on the road.

The three new IVECO Daily vans were purchased from IVECO Sydney with Morris also using the dealership for the service and maintenance of all five vans.

“The team at IVECO Sydney have been fantastic to deal with, both during the purchase of the vans and for servicing. They’re very open and honest – I would highly recommend them,” Morris says.

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