North West Ambulance Service
The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) is the ambulance service for North West England. It is one of 10 Ambulance Trusts providing England with Emergency medical services, and is part of the National Health Service, receiving direct government funding for its role.
|North West Ambulance Service|
The NHS corporate identity logo of North West Ambulance Service Trust
Map of North West Ambulance Service's coverage
|Created||1 July 2006|
|Region served||Greater Manchester, Cheshire Merseyside, Cumbria and Lancashire|
|NHS region||NHS England|
|Area size||5,400 sq. miles|
|Budget||£310 million (Approx)|
|Chief executive||Daren Mochrie|
|Number of employees||Over 6,000|
NWAS was formed on 1 July 2006. It was created by the merge of 4 previous services (Cumbria Ambulance Service; Lancashire Ambulance Service; Cheshire and Mersey Ambulance Service; and Greater Manchester Ambulance Service) as part of Health Minister Lord Warner's plans to combine ambulance services.
Based in Bolton, the new Trust provides services to almost 7 million people in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria, and the North Western fringes of the High Peak district of Derbyshire (covering the towns of Glossop and Hadfield) in an area of some 5,500 square miles (14,000 km2). There is no charge to patients for use of the service, and under the Patient's charter, every person in the United Kingdom has the right to the attendance of an ambulance in an emergency.
NWAS provides emergency ambulance response via the 999 system, as well as operating the NHS 111 advice service for North West England.
They also operate non-emergency patient transport services (PTS), and in 2013/2014 carried out 1.2 million such journeys. Since 2016, the PTS in Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral has instead been carried out by West Midlands Ambulance Service.
NWAS utilise a mixed fleet of emergency ambulances, mainly based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Fiat Ducato, the former consisting of a demountable box body on a chassis, and the latter a van conversion. The Trust uses Skoda Octavia estates as the main Rapid response car although since 2017 begun using BMW i3 electric cars and use Renault Masters for Intermediate, Urgent care and Patient Transport vehicles. In Central Manchester, some paramedics respond on specially converted bicycles.
The Trust currently operates from 104 ambulance stations across the North West. The most northerly station is at Carlisle, and the furthest south is at Crewe. It also maintains three Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) for the handling of 999 calls and dispatch of emergency ambulances.
- Parkway (Manchester Area)
- Speke (Cheshire and Mersey Area)
- Preston (Cumbria and Lancashire Area)
In 2017, NWAS signed an agreement to purchase a new EOC and area office for £2.9m at Liverpool International Business Park next to Liverpool John Lennon Airport As of 2019, this building has been converted and services have now migrated from the Anfield site.
Over recent years, the Trust has combined many of their older ambulance stations into purpose-built facilities shared with other emergency services, including Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, Lancashire Fire and Rescue and Greater Manchester Police.
NWAS was the first ambulance trust to be inspected by the Care Quality Commission, in August 2014. The Commission found the trust provided safe and effective services which were well-led and with a clear focus on quality but it was criticised for taking too many callers to hospital and for sending ambulances when other responses would have been more appropriate. The Trust was subsequently inspected in 2018 and was found to have improved with a rating of "Good"
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