Sussex’s ambulance service is forming an alliance with two other NHS trusts in the South West and Midlands to improve efficiency and patient care.
South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) improved its overall rating to ‘requires improvement’ from ‘inadequate’ earlier this month after the latest visit from regulators but remains in special measures.
A new alliance with South Western and West Midlands ambulance services, which between them hand more than 2.5million 999 calls every year, has been formed to deliver savings through initiatives such as joint procurement of supplies.
The three NHS trusts will also work to share best practice to benefit patients and staff, as well as improving resilience for planned events and major incidents.
There are no plans to merge services or restructure existing operations.
Daren Mochrie, chief executive of SECAmb, said: “This is the right thing to do for our patients and our staff. By forming this partnership, we will be able to bring together the knowledge and experience of three Trusts to explore ways to reduce variation in some areas and develop new joint initiatives that will untimely enhance the quality of care for our patients.”
The work will draw upon existing benchmarking and evidence from the National Audit Office investigation into ambulance services, and more recently, the report from Lord Carter into efficiency and productivity.
The decision to move towards an alliance was agreed on Tuesday (20 November) by the chief executives and chairs of the three trusts follows the recommendations of the Carter Report, which described ambulance services working in an alliance to deliver efficiency savings and improved productivity.
SECAmb chair David Astley added: “I am confident that, by working closely in partnership with our colleagues from SWAST and WMAS, we will all be able to benefit from sharing best practice and making efficiencies through joint procurement to drive real improvements for our staff and our patients.”