Ambulance services announce merger

PUBLISHED: 13:56 18 October 2011

GWAS say patients will not notice a difference

GWAS say patients will not notice a difference

Archant

NORTH Somerset's central ambulance base could be relocated outside of the area after Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) announced plans to merge next year with a neighbouring ambulance trust.

It will join forces with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWAST) – which currently serves Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly – from October 2012.

A spokesman for GWAS told the Mercury the centralisation of resources would not negatively affect patient care or the number of staff and ambulances they currently have.

He said the only likely visible change that people would see was a new logo and name on the side of their ambulances. No name for the new enlarged trust has been announced yet.

And he said the centralisation would enable money to be better spent across the South West.

Under the proposals, current SWAST chief executive Ken Wenman, will take up a similar position at GWAS on a temporary basis, starting November 1.

He said: “I am delighted to be working with GWAS staff, building on all their hard work over recent years and helping them to prepare for the future.

“GWAS has a great team of people who have never lost sight of the reason we are all here, this is what makes the partnership such a positive step forward.

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