07 July 2006

South Western Ambulance Service

Ambulances in Plymouth are now operating under a new name after two NHS trusts merged.Westcountry Ambulance Services and Dorset Ambulance Service have become the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust, in line with a decision by the Department of Health.Whitehall says fewer, larger ambulance trusts will result in less bureaucracy, which leaves more money to invest in front-line services. It also hopes more patients will be treated in the community and fewer will need transport to A &E. The new trust incorporates Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with 65 ambulance stations and 2,000 staff serving three million people, doubling to six million with the summer influx of tourists.

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