BUSINESSES are being asked to help develop new technology to speed up the time it takes to clean ambulances used for coronavirus patients.

It currently takes up to 45 minutes to clean the vehicles between callouts - and government has asked North Yorkshire companies to help cut the time.

Some ambulance cleaning centres are some distance away from their base or hospitals – adding strain and delay on the already under pressure service.

Now, businesses in North Yorkshire are being urged to do their bit in the region’s fight against the virus by working with the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) to develop technology which could also be used on buses, trains, other emergency vehicles and in hospital wards.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said it already has robust sanitisation measures in place, but added it would consider using quicker cleaning technology if it were to become available.

Iffa Settle, the service’s Head of Safety, said: “This is always a top priority for the Trust and is particularly heightened during the current challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a range of vehicle cleaning options available to us depending upon specific needs and the infection status of patients who have been conveyed.

“In addition to our recently developed Ambulance Vehicle Preparation units and other core cleaning facilities available at ambulance stations we have introduced additional measures in response to the coronavirus crisis.

“This includes dedicated cleaning teams at the region’s hospital emergency departments to ensure our vehicles can be cleaned and prepared as quickly and efficiently as possible so they are ready to respond to the next emergency.

“If the government becomes aware of any new rapid sanitising technology that would be beneficial to ambulance services, it’s certainly something we would consider.”

DASA said solutions must be suitable for rapid deployment – and products which are already available on the market will not be considered.

It also said technology which can be used easily and on the move is of particular interest.

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