STRUCTURE: Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has approved South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust’s takeover of Great Western Ambulance Service.

Mr Hunt signed the formal GWAS Dissolution Order earlier this week and South Western will take on responsibility for services currently provided by GWAS on 1 February – creating an organisation serving a resident population of over 5.3 million people.

GWAS chair 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.”