Ambulance services' merger
GREAT Western Ambulance Service will cease to exist from midnight today.
The NHS organisation, which runs the emergency service in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and the former Avon area, is being merged with the neighbouring South Western Ambulance Service (SWAS), which currently provides service in Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The expanded SWAS will continue to be run from Exeter headquarters and will serve a population of more than 5.3 million people. It will also enable the public to become more involved with the ambulance services by becoming members of the foundation trust.
The decision for GWAS to merge with SWAS in 2011 because it could not become a foundation trust in its own right. Health minister Jeremy Hunt signed the order to dissolve GWAS earlier this month.
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Valid until: Monday, May 20 2013