SWASFT provides a range of emergency and urgent care services to the people of South West England (10,000 square miles which is 20% of mainland England). We work in a way that upholds the values and pledges of the NHS Constitution and are proud to embrace innovation and actively promote best practice.
SWASFT was the first ambulance service to be authorised as an NHS Foundation Trust on 1 March 2011, acquiring our former neighbouring trust, Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) in February 2013.
Our geographical area encompasses Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath, North and North East Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.
Our core operational focus is the delivery of emergency ambulance 999 services (A&E). We have 92 ambulance stations, two Emergency Operations Centres, and two Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART).
The Trust also provides the clinical teams for four air ambulance charities across the South West (Cornwall Air Ambulance, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, and Great Western Air Ambulance Charity) and also works closely with the Devon Air Ambulance Trust.
We employ nearly 6,000 colleagues mainly clinical and operational staff (including paramedics, emergency care assistants, advanced technicians, and nurse practitioners) plus GPs and we are supported by some 950 volunteers (including community first responders, BASICS doctors, fire co-responders, and ambulance service volunteers) and over 800 Students.
Every NHS foundation trust should be headed by an effective board of directors. The board is collectively responsible for the performance of the NHS foundation trust.
The general duty of the Board of Directors, and of each individual Director, is to act to promote the success of the organisation by maximising the benefits for our local communities.
As a unitary board, the Non-Executive Directors and Executive Directors make decisions as a single group and share the same responsibility and liability.
The Board is led by Stephen Otter, Trust Chair and the Chair of the Council of Governors.
Will Warrender is the Chief Executive.
Luke March is the Lead Governor.
Council of Governors
The Board of Directors also has a framework of local accountability through Members and a Council of Governors, which replaced central control from the Secretary of State for Health.
The Council of Governors is responsible for representing the interests of NHS Foundation Trust Members and the public in the governance of the NHS Foundation Trust.
The Council of Governors has a statutory duty to hold the Chair and Non-Executive Directors individually and collectively to account for the performance of the Board of Directors. This includes ensuring the Board of Directors acts so that the Foundation Trust does not breach the conditions of its licence.
Supported by the Trust, the Council of Governors’ Remuneration and Recommendations Panel leads the recruitment of and decision on the appointment of all Non-Executive Directors. The Panel’s decision on the appointment(s) is then recommended to the full Council of Governors for ratification.
It remains the responsibility of the Board of Directors to determine and then implement agreed priorities, objectives, and the overall strategy of the NHS Foundation Trust.