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.

Operations

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 = http://www.wiltshirepct.nhs.uk/Publications/Reports/UrgentCareSrategy.pdf
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.

Performance

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.

trategy

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.

History

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

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

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

Wiltshire
* 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

Trivia

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

References


#
  • 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 = http://www.gwas.nhs.uk/policies/GWAS%20Operational%20Strategy.pdf
    format = PDF
  • External links

    * [http://www.gwamb.nhs.uk/ Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust]
    * [http://www.unison-greatwestern.co.uk/ UNISON Great Western Ambulance Branch, the voice for over 600 GWAS staff]



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