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Plans approved for joint ambulance partnership in Dorset
2:00pm Monday 14th January 2013 in News
PLANS have been approved for a joint ambulance service partnership for Dorset.
Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has approved plans for South Western ambulance service foundation trust and Great Western ambulance service to join forces.
The approval paves the way for the creation of a single ambulance service for the South West from Friday, February 1, when South Western ambulance service will take on the services currently provided by Great Western ambulance service.
The new service will serve a population of over 5.3million people.
Heather Strawbridge, chairman of South Western ambulance service said: “I would like to thank staff from both trusts who have worked – and continue to work – so hard to make this partnership a reality.”
She added: “People in the Great Western ambulance service area now have an opportunity to be part of an NHS foundation trust and I would encourage individuals to join as members and to consider standing as governors as we are committed to working with our communities to ensure they receive the best ambulance service possible.”
Great Western ambulance service chairman, Peter Carr, said: “When as a board we decided in August 2011 to identify a partner rather than pursue an application for foundation trust status as an independent trust, our decision was based on the best interests of patients, staff and taxpayers.
“That focus has remained throughout the rigorous process that has resulted in this welcome decision by the Secretary of State.”