Published: December 19, 2012
Merger proposals will include Burnham-On-Sea ambulance station

Burnham-On-Sea's ambulance station could soon be operated by a new foundation trust covering the whole of the south west.

Burnham's station in Love Lane is currently operated by South Western Ambulance Service but plans have been unveiled this week to merge the service with the neighbouring Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

If the proposals are approved by the Health Secretary, the single ambulance service could be put in place during 2013. It would cover an area stretching from Gloucestershire to Cornwall.

Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust (GWAS) says the merger may result in some job cuts, however its says frontline services would not be affected.

Ken Wenman, chief executive of both organisations, said the plans had been subjected to "rigorous scrutiny" by external bodies including the strategic health authority.

"It is reassuring that at no stage of the process have there been any concerns that the partnership should not proceed and we are now looking forward to receiving final approval from the secretary of state," he said.

He added: "A huge amount of work has been done – and continues to be done – by staff of both trusts to ensure a smooth integration. This has been achieved while focusing on continuing to meet all national performance standards and deliver excellent patient care."

"I therefore welcome this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank all staff from both organisations for their commitment and dedication during what I know is an unsettling time."

GWAS provides emergency care and patient transport services across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, the greater Bristol area and parts of Somerset while South Western Ambulance Service covers parts of Dorset and Somerset, and Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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