The Ford Transit Custom is to join the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) fleet.
Around 65 per cent of the NHSBT fleet of nearly 500 vehicles are already Fords, from blue-light Ford Focus Estate models to specially adapted Ford Transits, each of which has a key task in keeping blood supplies circulating.
NHSBT's national fleet service manager Larry Bannon said: "We are pleased to welcome the Ford Transit Custom on to our fleet and we are sure it will more than meet our expectations. The Transit is recognised throughout this industry as the perennial best in class, and it is certainly the best vehicle that fits our purpose, with excellent network support and a spare parts supply second to none."
In addition to emergency-service livery and the fitment of special storage equipment, each van is lined in a special waterproof resin to enable power-washing of the interior to ensure cleanliness to prescribed and regularly audited levels.
Bannon added: "The Ford vans are used in every stage of the blood donation process, from collecting the blood from the village halls and schools where blood donation sessions are set up, then transporting the donated blood to our regional processing sites where it is tested, processed and sorted, through to delivering units of blood to hospitals, whether as part of a routine order or under emergency blue-light cover to meet a hospital's urgent needs."
Ford Direct sales manager Terry Adams said: "It is reassuring to know a life-saving service that any of us might need to call upon, has placed its faith in the safety and reliability of Ford Transit."