Give your views on future of the ambulance service in Yorkshire

AN IMPORTANT phase in the history of Yorkshire’s ambulance service has been launched and residents across the county are being urged to have their say on its future plans.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which provides 24 hour emergency and healthcare services to five million people across Yorkshire and is the second largest provider on non-emergency patient transport in the UK, is making an application to become an NHS foundation trust.

By becoming a foundation trust, members of the public and partner organisations will have the opportunity to become involved in helping to shape and develop the region’s ambulance service in the future, to better suit the needs of local people and for the benefit of patients.

Although the service will remain part of the NHS and continue to offer free services, the organisation would also become more financially independent and have greater accountability to the local community.

From today, the Trust is inviting its staff and members of the public living in Yorkshire to share their thoughts on this transformation as part of a public consultation on its future plans.

The results will form part of the application to become an NHS foundation trust which is scheduled to go to the Department of Health in the summer of 2012.

David Whiting, Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s chief executive, said the organisation wanted to become a foundation trust to bring them closer to the communities they serve and give local people and its partner organisations more say in the delivery and development of services.

He said: “The journey towards becoming a foundation trust begins with us sharing details about our future plans and encouraging people to have their say.

“We have produced a consultation document which explains this process and why the views of the people of Yorkshire are such an important part of it.

“Our staff will also be going out and about around the region to speak to people too.

“Ultimately, we hope that people from all walks of life throughout Yorkshire will be inspired by our future plans for their ambulance service and will want to get involved.

“We also hope that they will choose to become ‘members’ of their local ambulance service and register their interest to do this as part of the consultation exercise.”

The three-month public consultation will run from 12 September 12 to December 4.