Service will be swallowed in merger
THE merger of our local ambulance service with that covering Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall has moved a step closer.
Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS), covering Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and the former Avon area, including Bristol, will be swallowed up by its neighbour and the new headquarters will be based in Exeter if the plans are rubber stamped as expected.
The impact on jobs has yet to be revealed, although initially all staff are expecting to be taken on by the new foundation trust that will be formed.
But the thought of one service catering to patients and NHS users across such a vast geographic area understandably sets alarm bells ringing.
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Both services need to jump through a few more administrative hoops yet. But if everything goes to plan for the bosses behind the scheme at the two ambulance services, GWAS will cease to exist in February next year.
While assurances have been made that there will be no difference to patients, until the new service is up and running, people will doubt how one ambulance trust will be able to effectively respond to emergencies stretching from the Isles of Scilly to the most remote reaches of Dartmoor and the heart of Bristol without there being compromises.