NHS ambulance services trust

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NHS ambulance services trusts are organisations which provide ambulance services within the English National Health Service.[1]


Following consultation, on 1 July 2006 the number of ambulance trusts fell from 29 to 13. The reduction can be seen as part of a trend dating back to 1974, when English local authorities ceased to be providers of ambulance services. This round of reductions in the number of trusts originated in the June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health. Most of the trusts followed government office regional boundaries. Exceptions include Staffordshire Ambulance Service (which had a temporary reprieve), the Isle of Wight (where provision remained with the island's primary care trust), South East Coast Ambulance Service, and South Central Ambulance Service.

The National Ambulance Resilience Unit, which provides support to all the English ambulance trusts, was established in summer 2011 and is based in Oldbury, West Midlands.[2]

As of 2018, the 13 NHS ambulance trusts are:[3]

In addition, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust provides ambulance services for the Isle of Wight.


Ambulance vehicles responding to emergencies (blues and twos) are exempt from speed limits under section 87 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

23,227 speeding tickets were issued to English ambulance trusts between 2009 and 2014 after they were caught on speed cameras. Only 400 tickets were upheld. Trust staff are employed to check against the 999 incident logging information for the date and time of the ticket whether the vehicle was on a blue light emergency call.[4]

Patients waiting in ambulances[edit]

The number of patients waiting over an hour in an ambulance at a hospital before being admitted doubled in two years. 51,115 patients waited over an hour in 2014-15 which rose to 111,524 in 2016-17. There is concern that delays in diagnosis can put patients at risk. NHS Improvement said: “Tolerating ambulance handover delays is tolerating significant risk of harm to patients.”[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 May 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  2. ^ "About us". National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU). Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Structure of the UK Ambulance Services". Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. Retrieved 7 July 2018. 
  4. ^ "'Common sense' plea over ambulance speeding fines". BBC News. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Patients waiting at least an hour in ambulances double in two years The Guardian