A contract to upgrade mobile communication devices in all 11 NHS ambulance trusts across England has been awarded to Telent.

Managed by the NHS Ambulance Radio Programme (ARP), the contract aims to provide a more effective and reliable mobile communications platform.

The Mobile Data Vehicle Solution (MDVS) programme will involve the installation and maintenance of advanced radio and data services in an estimated 5,000 ambulances across England, with the option to include Wales. The contract includes ongoing support for the installed hardware solution for an initial period of five years, with the option to extend for a further two years.

Telent will install and support specially programmed Windows tablets as well as a smart vehicle router, providing a new Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) solution for ambulance vehicles.

This will enable the in-vehicle communication and capability needed for the National Mobilisation Application (NMA), which will provide a standard platform for control rooms to communicate with ambulances.

The contract award follows an 18 month procurement process run by ARP.

Ian Hough, ARP programme director, said: “We are delighted to work alongside Telent as we strive to deliver mission-critical communications for NHS Ambulance Trusts across England.

“As a trusted provider of robust, reliable communications and other centralised technology solutions for the emergency services sector, Telent’s collaborative approach and experience ensured it was ideally placed to help us effectively replace the communications equipment within all English ambulances.”

The contract announcement follows the news that ambulance crews across England are to have access to tens of thousands of iPads.

The 30,000 devices will allow ambulance crews to send photographs from the scene of an accident so stroke specialists and other clinicians on standby in emergency departments can get straight to work when the patient arrives at hospital.