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Great Western Ambulance Service

GWAS names FT partner

STRUCTURE: Great Western Ambulance Service has named South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust as its preferred takeover partner.

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Great Western announced in August it would not be viable for the trust to pursue foundation trust status alone. GWAS, the smallest ambulance service on mainland England, was criticised by the Audit Commission in February for poor reporting. Both ambulance services operate within the South West region.

To support the work Ken Wenman, chief executive of SWAST, will become the interim CEO for GWAS on 1 November 2011. Jennie Kingston, currently SWAST deputy CEO and director of finance and performance, will be appointed acting CEO at SWAST.

SWAST was one of the first two ambulance trusts to achieve foundation trust status earlier this year.

GWAS chair Peter Carr said: “This partnership will bring the benefits of combined resources and will provide more capacity to improve and innovate. As one of the first ambulance trusts to become an FT, SWAST has already proven itself to be a strong and successful organisation.

“I am confident that this decision is right both for staff and patients and offers the best future for GWAS. We have found a potential partner that shares our values and our strategic agenda which will ensure that patients continue to receive excellent services in the future.”

The merger has the backing of NHS South of England.

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