A single ambulance service trust is to be created in Wales next month despite vociferous opposition.

The decision to press ahead with plans to merge the four existing ambulance trusts in the principality and the service run by Pembrokeshire and Derwen trust has dismayed unions and campaign groups, which had mounted a last- ditch battle to save the integrated hospital and ambulance service in Pembrokeshire.

Rob Griffiths, chair of the medical staff committee at Withybush Hospital, where the trust is based, said: 'This is a bad decision and it shows the consultation process was a sham. They made up their minds before it even began.'

The Welsh Office advertised non-executive posts in an integrated ambulance trust in December. Announcing a single trust last week, Welsh health minister Win Griffiths insisted responses to the consultation exercise were 'taken into account'.

He said a single trust would result in faster response times, better patient care, economies of scale and better opportunities for staff training.