Talks over ambulance plan

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A MAJOR reorganisation is being proposed at the body in charge of South Yorkshire’s ambulances, to make it more financially independent from the Government.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which provides 24-hour emergency and healthcare services to millions of people in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster and the rest of Yorkshire, has applied to become an NHS foundation trust.

Bosses say becoming a foundation will give patients more of a say in how the ambulance service operates in future.

The service will remain part of the NHS and continue to offer free services but the organisation would be more financially independent.

The trust has started a three-month public consultation before the final application goes before the Department of Health next summer.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service chief executive David Whiting 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.

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

“We also hope 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 consultation runs until December 4.

n The consultation document can be seen at www.yas.nhs.uk/ourfutureplans or by calling 01924 584 567.