Scottish Ambulance Service
Scottish Ambulance Service selected Alsico's trousers powered by ALSIFLEX® for their durability, comfort, and sustainability, enhancing staff uniform performance.
The Scottish Ambulance Service is the frontline of the NHS in Scotland, with over 5,000 members of staff and 1,200 volunteers. The team provide an emergency ambulance service to Scotland’s population of more than 5 million people, for the mainland and island communities.
Responding to approximately 2 million calls for emergency and non-emergency assistance each year, the Scottish Ambulance Service team requires a uniform that will keep them comfortable throughout long, physically-demanding shifts. As a result of a detailed assessment of the current uniform, including direct feedback from the team, the division started the search for a new uniform provider that would look at its requirements holistically. Instead of simply the fit and feel of the garment, the provider would need to consider elements such as sustainability and washing performance.
Scottish Ambulance Service said:
“Working with Alsico on the new uniform implementation has been so easy, and its clear to see from the feedback that we are receiving that the ALSIFLEX® trousers are the right pair for our teams. It can be difficult to find an option that provides both the physical elements you need in terms of stretch and durability, but also looks at broader requirements such as the environmental considerations, so it’s been a really great fit for us.”
The Scottish Ambulance Service first started working with alsico in 2021 when its health care division won the contract to supply its modern uniforms through the NHS National procurement. Once the division’s uniform requirements were discussed in detail, alsico presented the benefits of its brand new ALSIFLEX® fabric technology to offer a more sustainable option to the current poly/cotton fabric uniforms worn.
One of the greatest challenges that the service’s team had with their previous uniform was the trousers not holding their shape after being worn and washed. In such a physical role with a high degree of bending, lifting and stretching to support patients, this aspect was crucial for determining the new uniform. The ALSIFLEX® trousers were immediately of interest because of their ability to stretch and flex as required whilst maintaining their original shape and durability.
Another key consideration for the decision-makers at the Scottish Ambulance Service was the sustainability of the trousers. The ALSIFLEX® fabric stretch technology was an easy choice to support this objective because it is developed with 100% sustainable fibres (79% recycled & renewable polyester and 21% sustainable cotton), and designed to emit two-thirds less CO2 than any other comparable workwear fabrics. In addition to this, the environmental implications of washing the fabric were considered in its design process, and it was created with technology that reduces the fibre shed during washing. This limits the volume of microfibres that reach the water systems, helping to mitigate the impact on the natural world and again demonstrating Alsico’s approach of looking at the bigger picture throughout the development of new garments.
The ALSIFLEX® trousers were received very positively by the Scottish Ambulance Service procurement team, and were therefore rolled out to its ambulance staff, paramedics and first responders.
The trousers were rolled out to the whole division through a straight-forward replacement of the old uniform. The uniform project leaders regularly checked in with team members to capture feedback and ensure that any required adjustments could be made, however, no negative feedback was received – at all.
The service staff were particularly pleased that unlike their previous trousers, where there was shrinkage when first washed, the ALSIFLEX® trousers kept their shape, size and colour after repeated wear and washes. The stretch and flexibility of the trousers were a big focus of the positive feedback too, enabling staff to comfortably carry out the heavy lifting and bending required for responsibilities such as performing CPR.
The ALSIFLEX® trousers have been successfully rolled out to the full division, and Alsico continue to collaborate with the Scottish Ambulance Service to look at what is next for its uniform development.
Scottish Ambulance Service shared:
“Sustainability is a big focus for us, therefore we are already in discussions with Alsico about more sustainable options for the rest of our uniform over the coming years. The ALSIFLEX® trousers have been such a hit that we are really excited to see what is next!”