South Western Ambulance Service

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is the organisation responsible for providing ambulance services for the National Health Service (NHS) across South West England. It serves the council areas of Bath and North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Plymouth, Isles of Scilly, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Torbay and Wiltshire.[3] On 1 March 2011, SWASFT was the first ambulance service in the country to become a NHS foundation trust.

South Western Ambulance Service
NHS Foundation Trust
SWASFT
TypeNHS foundation trust
Established1 July 2006 (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset)
1 February 2013 (merged with Great Western Ambulance Service)
HeadquartersExeter
Region servedBath and North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Plymouth, Isles of Scilly, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Torbay and Wiltshire
NHS regionNHS England
Area size10,000 square miles (26,000 km2)[1]
Population5.5 million (2018)[1]
Establishments96 Ambulance Stations
Budget£227.6 million (planned, 2018–19)[1]
ChairTony Fox[2]
Chief executiveWill Warrender[2]
Websitewww.swast.nhs.uk

On 1 February 2013, the former Great Western Ambulance Service merged with the trust.[4]

SWASFT serves a population of more than 5.5 million,[1] and its area is estimated to receive an influx of over 17.5 million visitors each year. The operational area is predominantly rural but also has large urban centres including Bristol, Plymouth, Exeter, Truro, Bath, Swindon, Gloucester, Bournemouth and Poole.[5]

The service is headquartered in Exeter, Devon. It has 96 ambulance stations and six charity-operated air ambulance bases within its area. The Chief Executive is Will Warrender, who was appointed to the trust during July 2020 after retirement of former Chief Executive Ken Wenman.[2]

The trust's core operations include:[6][5]

  • Emergency ambulance 999 services
  • Urgent Care Services (UCS) – GP out-of-hours medical care (Dorset)
  • Tiverton Urgent Care Centre.
The Star of Life ambulance boat serves the Scilly Isles

It is one of the ambulance trusts providing England with emergency medical services, and employs around 4,500[1] mainly clinical and operational staff (including Paramedics, Emergency Care Practitioners, Advanced Technicians, Emergency Care Assistants, Ambulance Care Assistants and Nurse Practitioners). In addition there are around 3,200 volunteers including community first responders, BASICS doctors, fire co-responders and patient transport drivers.