Trust set to become first university ambulance service

West Midlands Ambulance Service is set to become the first ambulance University NHS Foundation Trust in the country.

In a ground breaking move, the Trust is working with the University of Wolverhampton to become the first university ambulance service. As a result, the Trust is engaging with stakeholders, patients and the public on changing the organisation’s name to West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust.

Currently the Trust works closely with four universities in the education of paramedics: University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester; Staffordshire University and Coventry University.

The Trust also undertakes a great deal of research with a range of institutions including the University of Warwick, University of Birmingham; University of Sheffield; University of Nottingham; and Swansea University as well as other health organisations.

Trust Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, said: “Our work with the universities is producing tangible benefits for the Trust, our staff and ultimately benefits our patients. We are therefore planning to introduce the title of “University” into the organisation’s name.

“The Trust works in partnership with universities to further develop education, training and research opportunities that take the ambulance sector into the future. This is an exciting development and one that allows us to articulate our position in the ambulance sector going forward.

“We have a significant role to play in the education and training of our current and future workforce, contribute to the research and evidence base to develop the paramedic profession, and extend our understanding of the urgent and emergency care needs in the pre-hospital environment.”

The Trust says the cost of implementation is minimal as it will not be rebranding its fleet or buildings except when they would have been replaced in any case.

If the outcome of the consultation is positive, the Trust will initially sign an agreement with the University of Wolverhampton which would include the permission to use the title university in the Trust name.