Trust bosses’ plan to merge ambulances

editorial image

Three ambulance trusts have teamed up to work better together to improve efficiency of ambulance services in the North of England.

North West, which covers Wigan, North East and Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trusts have launched the Northern Ambulance Alliance so that together, they can look at efficiency through joint procurement exercises, major changes to IT, accessing specialist expertise and learning from each other’s achievements.

Ambulance services are already seeing the benefits of collaborating more closely with police and fire rescue services, with tangible benefits to patient outcomes and staff safety.

As a result, the leadership of the three northern ambulance services also believe there are greater benefits to be achieved working between organisations; as much as across other services such as our blue light partners.

Bosses stress this is not a merger, but it is the creation of a body that will “facilitate greater collaboration and realise benefits individual Trusts are unlikely to be able to achieve on their own.”

Derek Cartwright, Chief Executive of North West Ambulance Service, added: “The NAA will work within the existing structure of organisations and their legal frameworks. The Boards of all three Trusts will still have responsibility for their individual service but will also consider the work and objectives of the NAA when making decisions.”

The aim of the NAA will be to continue to improve quality and service delivery for all patients in the North of England, cross border working for clinicians for the benefit of all patients in the North of England, to sharing examples of best practice and innovation and to identify opportunities for procurement through economies of scale and standardisation of equipment.

At the moment, no staff will be affected but they could be in the future as people leave and are replaced.