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Ambulance control to move out of county
THE ambulance service is to move its Wiltshire control centre out of the county in a bid to cut costs.
Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) NHS Trust has announced it is to relocate its emergency operations centre (EOC), currently in Devizes, to its base at Acuma House in north Bristol in March.
Bosses say the move - part of the trust’s 10-year estates strategy announced last year – is designed to ensure it has the most appropriate facilities to provide the best possible patient care in the most cost-effective way.
Chief executive Ken Wenman said: “The most important thing to stress is that this move in no way represents a loss of local knowledge or reduction in our service to patients across our Wiltshire sector.”
All incoming 999 calls to the ambulance service have been answered in Bristol since 2008 and the Devizes centre then dispatches crews, including paramedics in rapid-response cars, to incidents within Wiltshire.
There are 33 GWAS staff currently working in Devizes, who will be relocated to Bristol.
Mr Wenman added: “By relocating to Acuma House, our Wiltshire dispatchers will be located alongside EOC-based clinicians in the shape of our clinical support desk, meaning they will be better able to ensure the right resource is responded first time. “Also, there will be increased resilience to support the service to Wiltshire in the event of staff sickness or other short-term difficulties.”
The service says relocating the EOC to Acuma House will save £700,000 a year.
The trust is looking to cut £4.3million from its costs in the next financial year.
It has already implemented a single computer-aided dispatch system across the counties it covers, as well as centralising the handling of incoming 999 calls.