About us


Trust Mission, Vision, Values and Goals

To view the Trust's Mission, Vision, Values and Goals click here.

SWASFT has responsibility for the provision of ambulance services across an area of 10,000 square miles which is 20% of mainland England. The Trust covers the counties of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the former Avon area (Bristol, Bath, North and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire).

The Trust serves a total population of over 5.3 million and is estimated to receive an influx of over 17.5 million visitors each year. The operational area is predominantly rural but also includes large urban centres including Bristol, Plymouth, Exeter, Bath, Swindon, Gloucester, Bournemouth and Poole.

In 2015/16 approximately one in eight 999 calls to South Western Ambulance Service are treated over the telephone. Hear and treat is 12.7% of calls and means the patient receives clinical advice over the telephone. For 36.4% of incidents the patients experience see and treat, when the patient receives treatment or advice at the scene of the incident. In a further 7.7% of incidents, the patient is taken to a non-emergency hospital department so that might mean a community hospital or minor injuries unit. The remaining incidents result in a patient being taken to a hospital emergency department, this means the majority of incidents (56.8%) result in a patient not being conveyed. SWASFT is the best performing ambulance service in the country for non-conveyance rates. In addition approximately 62% of patients taken to hospital are admitted – this is again the highest (best) performance for an ambulance trust in the country. This means that when SWASFT takes a patient to an emergency department they are likely to be admitted, not simply treated and discharged, therefore confirming that is the right place for them to receive the care they need.

Core operations include the following service lines:

  • Emergency ambulance 999 services (A&E);
  • Urgent Care Services (UCS) – GP out-of-hours medical care (Dorset and Gloucestershire);
  • Patient Transport Services (PTS) – non-emergency transport for eligible patients with a medical need for transport (Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire);
  • NHS 111 call-handling and triage services for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Dorset.

The Trust provides the clinical teams for six air ambulances (two in Devon, one in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, one shared across Dorset and Somerset, one in Wiltshire and one based near Bristol).

We employ over 4,000 mainly clinical and operational staff (including Paramedics, Emergency Care Practitioners, Advanced Technicians, Ambulance Care Assistants and Nurse Practitioners) plus GPs and around 2,785 volunteers (including community first responders, BASICS doctors, fire co-responders and volunteer PTS drivers).

You can view a map of the Trust area here.

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Every day hundreds of volunteers from across the south west attend incidents in their local communities on behalf of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT). Sometimes the difference they make is simply providing reassurance prior to the arrival of an ambulance, but their presence can mean the difference between life and death. 

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