A “model ambulance” is to be created to tackle variation across England’s 10 ambulance trusts.

NHS Improvement is talking with ambulance trust leaders to introduce an online information service to help organisations compare performance and identify potential financial savings.

HSJ understands the model ambulance will provide board level data on clinical services, operational activity, procurement and patient experience.

The metrics will follow the principles of the model hospital, one of 15 recommendations by Lord Carter to save acute trusts £5bn a year by 2020-21.

NHSI said the work with ambulance trusts had only just begun.

A spokesman said: “We’ll be working with a cohort of trusts over the coming months to identify where there are unwarranted variations in their operational performance.

“We aim to help all ambulance trusts understand what good looks like.

“As we collect and validate data, it will become available on the model hospital so ambulance trusts can start to identify opportunities to improve.”

The regulator said information gathered would build on the review of ambulance services by the National Audit Office published earlier this year.

The NAO said although urgent and emergency care funding for ambulance trusts had increased by 16 per cent between 2011-12 and 2015-16, activity rose by 30 per cent.

It pointed to “signs of stress” across the country and only West Midlands Ambulance Service hit the three response time targets in 2015-16.

The review also found variation, including a 10.4 percentage point difference between the best and worst performing trusts, in relation to the response to the most serious 999 calls.

The cost per call – the total urgent and emergency care income divided by the number of calls received – also varied from £139 to £272 between the 10 ambulance trusts.