Specialist ambulance trolleys are being introduced across the North East in a bid to improve patient transport.
The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) will use the 22 critical care trolleys, which cost a total of £1m, to move patients between hospitals.
Until now staff have used a variety of trolleys, but the new equipment will streamline transfers, said the NEAS.
They will be one at each of the North East's 18 hospitals in Northumberland, Tyneside, Durham and Teesside.
Geoff Craik, NEAS operations support manager, said: "The purchase of these specialist trolleys is a culmination of several years' work by the Critical Care Network leads, hospital clinicians and ambulance service staff.
"This issue came to head about three years ago following a change in safety regulations.
"It meant that we started to get new vehicles which could not take the trolleys that some hospitals were using."
The new trolleys are designed to fit into any NEAS ambulance.