An ambulance service based in West Sussex and Surrey has spent £400,000 on three vehicles designed to carry obese patients weighing up to 50 stone.
The bariatric vehicles will come into service at the end of next month, a spokesperson for the South East Coast Ambulance service NHS Foundation (SEACmb) revealed.
The specially adapted Mercedes ambulances were created following pressure to meet the demands of an increasing number of obese patients.
According to the NHS Information Centre, admissions of obese people have risen from 1,054 in 2001, to 11,574 in 2011.
The ambulances will be equipped with specialist manual handling aids, a gantry and mobile hoists, threshold ramps, enhanced air cushion lifting equipment and a stair climber, the spokesperson, Justin Wand, told the Press Association.
"The new vehicles and equipment will provide the Trust with a specialist ability to care for these patients who have specific needs."
This follows the recent news that a hospital in Gloucestershire had designed a range of mortuary slabs to cater for the larger and obese deceased.
In the UK an estimated 60.8% of adults and 31.1% of children are overweight. Almost a quarter of adults (22% of men and 24% of women) in England were classified as obese.
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