MoD agency seeks potential suppliers of mobile options to expedite cleaning process
The government has issued a call for proposals for “rapid sanitising technology” that could expedite the process of cleaning ambulances that have been used to transport patients suspected of being infected with Covid-19.
Once such a patient has been taken to hospital, cleaning the ambulance that took them there can take 45 minutes, according to the government.
Moreover, “some ambulance-cleaning centres can also be some distance away from their base or hospitals – adding strain and delay on an already busy and pressurised service as the vehicles cannot be used until cleaning is completed”.
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The help alleviate this strain, the Defence and Security Accelerator – an agency of the Ministry of Defence – is seeking potential suppliers to submit proposals for technologies that could speed up the sanitisation of vehicles, allowing them to go back into service more quickly.
The call for ideas is taking place via DASA’s Open Call for Innovation programme – an ongoing and cyclical initiative through which the agency seeks industry contributions to support “particular and enduring innovation focus areas” which are regularly updated.
The current cycle has been extended to 1 April “for early bids to be considered”.
Ambulance-sanitising technologies must be ready to undergo a live trial, which will take place at the Wiltshire headquarters of another MoD arm’s-length body: the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Tests will take place using a vehicle provided by the Welsh Ambulance Service.
“Solutions must be suitable for rapid deployment to clean public sector vehicles following the transport of patients with the COVID-19 virus,” DASA said. “Ideally, solutions will have wider applicability than just ambulances, which might include, buses, trains, and other blue light services or even in hospital wards and rooms. Solutions which are mobile, allow ease of operation and maintenance, robust and reliable are of particular interest.”