Great Western Ambulance Service

The Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust (GWAS) is UK National Health Service (NHS) trust providing emergency and non emergency patient transport services to Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire in the South West England region. It was formed on April 1 2006 from the merger of the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire ambulance services.

It is one of 12 Ambulance Trusts providing England with free Emergency medical services, and is part of the National Health Service, receiving direct government funding for its role.


The Trust headquarters is at Jenner House, Chippenham, Wiltshire.

The Trust has one main control room and two satelite "dispatch centres". The main control room, the Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre (EMDC) at Acuma House, Almondsbury, has been recognised as a Centre of Excellence for emergency call handling and dispatch for 2006, 2007 and 2008. One of the EMDC team received the International EMD of the Year Award 2007. The satelite dispatch centre in Quedelely, Gloucetsershire, is also the hub for Gloucestershires out-of-hours "urgent care" service.

In common with all UK ambulance services, the control rooms triage and categorises 999 calls into three categories - A, B, and C. Category A are potentially life threatening emergencies requiring an immediate response. Category B are potentially serious but not life threatening emergencies. Category C require do not require an emergency response and are relayed to NHS Direct, specially trained paramedics or nurses for over-the-phone advice, GP services or Emergency Care Practitioners(ECP). .

cite paper
publisher = NHS Wiltshire Primary Care Trust
title = Wiltshire Primary Care Trust Urgent Care Strategy 2007-2010
url =
format = PDF

Avon hosts the south-west's primary Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) terrorist response capability and has been praised for its well governed and effective First Response scheme.


999 calls to the service have doubled in the last ten years.

The Department of Health lays down performance targets -

* to reach 75% of immediately life threatening emergencies (category A) within 8 minutes
* to reach 50% of non life threatening emergencies (category B) within 8 minutes
* to reach 95% of all emergencies within 14 minutes
* where a doctor requests an ambulance for a patient under the Doctors' Urgent Standard, to deliver 95% of patients within 15 minutes of request

The service failed to meet the targets throughout 2007 but were meeting them on a monthly basis by March 2008. In April 2008 the way the government targets are measured was changed to be more stringent. Performanceagainst these new "Call Connect" targets is a new challenge to be faced by the Trust.


The Primary Care Trust (PCT) and the Ambulance Service plan to increase the number of Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) and nurses skilled in urgent care assessment to generate a reduction in the number of people transported by ambulance to an emergency department.


Formed on April 1 2006 from the merger of the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire ambulance services, the trust had a difficult start, marked by redundancies, closure of its training centre and the threat of ambulance station closures.

This caused strained industrial relations with its recognised union, UNISON, and attacks from the local media.

Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust has lost two contracts for non-emergency Patient Transport Services (PTS) to private contractors.

In September 2008, the Chief Executive, Tim Lynch resigned.

Vehicle fleet

* PTS & HDU - Renault Master
* A&E - Mercedes Sprinter
* RRV - Ford Focus, Honda CRV but now standardising on Vauxhall Astra & Vauxhall Zafira

* PTS - Renault Master
* A&E - Renault Master but now standardising on Mercedes Sprinter
* RRV - Renault Scenic but now standardising on Vauxhall Astra & Zafira

* PTS - Renault Master
* A&E - Renault Master but now standardising on Mercedes Sprinter
* RRV - Renault Megane, Honda CRV but now standardising on Vauxhall Astra & Vauxhall Zafira


The fictional Holby Ambulance Service from the television show "Casualty" based uniform and vehicles on the former Avon Ambulance Service, who used to cover the Bristol area, where the show is filmed.

ee also

* Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom


  • cite paper
    title = Improving Ambulance Response Times
    publisher = Department of Health
    date = April 2007

    #cite paper
    title = Operational Plan 2007/2008
    publisher = Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust
    date = April 2007
    url =
    format = PDF
  • External links

    * [ Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust]
    * [ UNISON Great Western Ambulance Branch, the voice for over 600 GWAS staff]

    Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

    Look at other dictionaries:

    • Northern Ireland Ambulance Service — Ambulance in Ann Street, Belfast, October 2009 The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) is the ambulance service that serves the whole of Northern Ireland. As with other ambulance services in the United Kingdom, it does not charge its… …   Wikipedia

    • North East Ambulance Service — Map of North East Ambulance Service s coverage The North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NEAS) is the authority responsible for providing NHS ambulance services in North East England, covering the counties of County Durham, Northumberland and… …   Wikipedia

    • North West Ambulance Service — Map of North West Ambulance Service s coverage The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) was formed on 1 July 2006 as part of Health Minister Lord Warner s plans to reduce the number of NHS ambulance service trusts operating in the United …   Wikipedia

    • Service d'aide médicale urgente — Logo international des Samu Le service d aide médicale urgente, ou samu[1], est le centre de régulation médicale des urgences d une région sanitaire, il répond à la demande d aide médicale urgente (AMU), c est à dire l assistance pré hospitalière …   Wikipédia en Français

    • Ambulance — For other uses, see Ambulance (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

    • Great Yarmouth — For other places named Yarmouth, see Yarmouth (disambiguation). Coordinates: 52°36′22″N 1°43′44″E / 52.606°N 1.729°E / 52.606; 1.729 …   Wikipedia

    • Great Bedwyn — Coordinates: 51°22′44″N 1°36′07″W / 51.379°N 1.602°W / 51.379; 1.602 …   Wikipedia

    • Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 — The Blizzard of ‘77 was a deadly blizzard that hit Buffalo, New York and the area around it in New York and Ontario (and to a lesser extent, surrounding regions) from January 28 to February 1, 1977. Daily peak gusts of 69, 51, 52, 58 and 46 miles …   Wikipedia

    • Great Depression — the economic crisis and period of low business activity in the U.S. and other countries, roughly beginning with the stock market crash in October, 1929, and continuing through most of the 1930s. * * * or Depression of 1929 Longest and most severe …   Universalium

    • Midlands Air Ambulance — Eurocopter EC 135 G HWAA based at Strensham The Midlands Air Ambulance (formerly County Air Ambulance[1]) is a United Kingdom regional helicopter emergency medical service.[2] …   Wikipedia

    Share the article and excerpts

    Direct link
    Do a right-click on the link above
    and select “Copy Link”

    We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.