West Midlands Ambulance Service

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Map of the West Midlands Ambulance Service's coverage

The West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS) is the second-largest ambulance service in the UK. It is the authority responsible for providing NHS ambulance services in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. The trust won the contract for non-emergency patient transport services in Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral previously provided by the North West Ambulance Service in 2015. It transferred in July 2016.[1] The trust is currently under the leadership of chief executive Dr.Anthony.Marsh.

It is one of 10 Ambulance Trusts providing England with Emergency medical services, and is part of the National Health Service. There is no charge to patients for use of the service

WMAS was one of the highest performing ambulance services in England and one of only two to exceed all of its national performance targets in 2006-07. It employs around 4,500 staff and is supported by about 1,000 volunteers, over 63 sites, and makes over 450,000 emergency responses every year.

The trust is currently the best performing ambulance service in the NHS being graded outstanding by CQC inspectors in January 2017 & the only ambulance service to meet Government targets.


The trust was formed on 1 July 2006, following the merger of the Hereford & Worcester Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Coventry & Warwickshire Ambulance NHS Trust, and WMAS and Shropshire services.[2] On 1 October 2007 the service merged with Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.[2][3] It became an NHS foundation trust on 1 January 2013.[4]


In the 2017-18 contract negotiations with Clinical commissioning groups,where Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG negotiated on behalf of all the West Midlands CCGs the trust sought financial compensation for the delays to ambulances caused by patient handover delays at local hospitals. WMAS wanted a “full second tariff” on top of the standard tariff for delays over 60 minutes, and “a smaller second tariff” for delays over 30 minutes, which would have come to around £6 million. After mediation by NHS England and NHS Improvement it was agreed to pay the trust an additional £2.1m in 2017-18. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust were singled out as the main culprits.[5]

In 2017 it got an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission - the only ambulance trust to do so.[6]

Emergency Operations Centres[edit]

Following the merger of the trusts, WMAS inherited a number of standalone control rooms. This resulted in 5 centres spread across the region operating independently using varying levels of technology at sites:[7] Millennium Point, Brierley Hill, Tollgate Drive, Stafford, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Bransford, Worcester - closed in December 2007, and Dale St, Leamington Spa. On 28 November 2007, the Trust agreed to go ahead with proposals for the reconfiguration of its Emergency Operations Centres, despite vocal protests from the public. WMAS now only operates from 2 Emergency Operations Centres based at Millenium Point, Brierley Hill (Trust HQ) and Tollgate Drive, Stafford. It also operates a virtual EOC so waiting calls at either of the Trusts 2 EOCs can be answered by the other even if the call isn't designated to that control, increasing the speed response vehicles can be dispatched.

Air Ambulances[edit]

There are 2 air ambulance charities serving the WMAS service community, called the Air Ambulance Service & the Midlands Air Ambulance.

The Air Ambulance Service uses 1 helicopter to cover Warwickshire. The Midlands Air Ambulance has three daylight air ambulance helicopters covering the 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2) of the Midlands region, based at RAF Cosford (nr Wolverhampton), Tattenhill Airport and at Strensham services.[8]


The trust has over 400 vehicles, including patient transport services vehicles, rapid response vehicles, motorcycle response units, and of course ambulance crews.

  • The Medical Emergency Response Intervention Team are a Critical Care Paramedic and Trauma Doctor responding to emergencies in a Rapid Response Vehicle.
  • See Hazardous Area Response Team
  • In times of emergency, WMAS also requests assistance from voluntary ambulance providers, such as St John Ambulance.[9] St John Ambulance (SJA) also provides 'A&E Support' crews at times when there is a high level of staff absence or there is an unusually high call volume. This arrangement sees SJA crews attending Emergency or Non-Emergency calls. SJA crews may treat and transport certain categories of patient, although they are expected to ask for further assistance for more serious patients.
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service are supported by several BASICS-affiliated charities, who provide volunteer doctors and nurses to support the regular ambulance service staff at more serious incidents.
  • On some evenings and weekends, support for front-line crews is provided by the West Midlands CARE Team. The CARE Team is a volunteer group of BASICS doctors and nurses, conveyed in a specially equipped fast response car by a paramedic officer to provide advanced medical care at the scene of an incident.
  • In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, the Mercia Accident Rescue Service (MARS) is available to supplement and assist WMAS crews.
  • North Staffordshire BASICS provide similar support in the north of the WMAS region.
  • In times of severe weather, WMAS also has the ability to call on the Severn Area Rescue Association who have 4x4 ambulances.[10]



In 2011, a new system was announced for the operations of ambulance services in Herefordshire, whereby Hereford would serve as the 24-hour "hub" where all vehicles would be serviced, maintained and held before all shifts.[11] Stations include: Hereford, Leominster, Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye, Bromyard, Kington, and Leintwardine - closed in late 1990s


Stations include: Shrewsbury


Burton, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Stafford, Tamworth, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Moorlands


Community Ambulance Stations include Atherstone, Nuneaton, Central (Coventry and Rugby), Canley, Coventry City Centre, Rugby Town Centre, Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Wellesbourne.

West Midlands Conurbation[edit]

Henrietta street As of the last quarter of 2013 The Birmingham area moved to Aston Fire Station as a temporary move while it awaits confirmation of a new City Centre site amalgamating with West Midlands Fire Service into a City Centre "Emergency Services Hub" Other small stations moved into 2 main "Hubs" at Erdington and Hollymoor which form a make ready system where ambulances are prepared prior to crew shift time commencement. There is also a sub hub in North Birmingham based at Solihull Hospital. A Response car is based at a community ambulance station in Dorridge (Knowle).

In February 2017 the trust closed the Aston Fire Station response point. Relocating the staff to the two main Birmingham hubs of Erdington and Hollymoor.

In May 2017 the Motorcycle response unit was also abolished with the remaining staff moving to different operational areas of the trust.


Stations include: Worcester, *Kidderminster, Droitwich, Malvern, Evesham, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Pershore.

See also[edit]

Other emergency medical services[edit]

Other emergency services[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]