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South Western Ambulance Service Trust Welcomes new CEO Will Warrender

01 July 2020

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is pleased to welcome incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Will Warrender CBE. Will succeeds Ken Wenman, who retires, after more than 40 years’ service in the NHS.

“We are very excited that Will is joining us, bringing a wealth of leadership experience in complex and challenging environments,” said Chairman Tony Fox.  

With over 30 years’ Royal Navy experience, Will has spent much of his time at sea, where he commanded five warships; and ashore he led national and coalition maritime operations across 2.5 million square miles of water, in the Gulf.. In 2018 he was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the military Operational Honours List and was awarded the US Legion of Merit in 2017 for his contribution to coalition maritime operations in the Gulf.

“His personal values are a great alignment with those of the Trust and we know that he will be an inclusive and compassionate leader, able to take us forward as we continue our drive to be an outstanding organisation in all that we do.

“Finally, I would like to say thank you and to recognise the commitment and contribution Ken Wenman has made to SWASFT and to the Ambulance sector as a whole throughout his career. Ken has driven innovation into the sector and has been instrumental in the development of paramedic clinical practices. He was also at the forefront of successful mergers that shaped the Regional Service we have today. We wish him all the very best in his well-earned retirement,” said Mr Fox.

Outgoing-CEO Ken Wenman said: “It has been my privilege to serve the people and south west communities as SWASFT CEO. We have a team of fantastic people and a firm foundation of patient-centred service on which to grow, under the next chapter of leadership. Choosing the right time to retire has not been an easy decision; however SWASFT is in a good position and I am confident that the Board, led by Tony Fox and new CEO Will Warrender will seize the many opportunities that lie ahead.”

CEO Will Warrender said: “I am truly honoured to join the Trust at this highly unusual time -- mid-global pandemic. Over the past few months, I have been inspired by the courage, dedication and continued commitment to patient and staff care.

“I am reassured that my transition into the role will be supported by a caring Board, a strong Executive team and passionate people, where together we will maintain service continuity as the south west region manages and mitigates the impacts of Covid-19.

“My commitment as CEO is to compassionately lead a Trust that treats its people with respect, care, dignity and a culture that promotes transparency, inclusion, honesty, engagement, fairness, diversity and challenge.

“Together with our people and through patient and community feedback, I will be taking us on a  journey to achieve our 2025 and 2030 goals to deliver a world-class service, by making sure we are operationally fit-for-the-future and able to cope with increased demands of activity,” said Mr Warrender.

From July, Will sets out to safely meet as many of our 4500-strong workforce and 800 volunteers as possible, from across our region. This will be achieved through carefully organised meetings using social distancing measures, personal protective equipment and virtual forums.


Note to editors

A press briefing, led by CEO Will Warrender will be managed by the SWASFT media team in late-August. More information will be provided at a later date.

Will Warrender biography

Mr Will Warrender served 32 years in the Royal Navy and completed his career as a Rear Admiral responsible for recruiting and training Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel.  Spending the majority of his earlier career at sea he was fortunate to command five warships. On shore, his command followed with responsibility for the conduct of national and coalition operations across 2.5 million square miles of water in the Gulf.

He was subsequently appointed as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the 2018 Operational Honours List and granted the US Legion of Merit for his contribution to coalition maritime operations. He served twice in the Ministry of Defence HQ where he led military support to UK resilience and counter terrorism operations across government agencies and private organisations.

In his current capacity, Mr Warrender is the Chief Executive of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT). In this role he is able to draw upon his considerable operational experience within a cross-cultural and multi-disciplined environment and deliver under challenging environments, while meeting the increased demands of activity.

Under his leadership, and with the support of the Board, Mr Warrender is responsible for the 5500-strong workforce, delivering emergency and urgent patient care across 10,000 square miles of mainland England, spanning eight counties Cornwall & Isles of Scilly; Devon; Somerset; Dorset; Bristol; Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. He is responsible for SWASFT operational assets comprising 120 sites, 96 ambulance stations, six air bases and five emergency operation centres. 

Mr Warrender has an inclusive and compassionate style of leadership. He is passionate about building strong, resourceful teams and inspires others to achieve their best. He is a champion of diversity and under his leadership he will continue to lead in providing fair opportunities for all.

Mr Warrender was born in India and holds a Bachelor’s Degree (1992) and a Master’s Degree (2004) from King’s College, London. He is also a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies (2017). His family home is in South Devon where his interests include sport (hockey, running, triathlon) and walking the two family dogs. 

Career history

July 2020 – CEO South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

2018-2020 – Rear Admiral Flag Officer Sea Training, Royal Navy

2015-2018 – UK Maritime Component Commander (Bahrain)

2013-2015 – Assistant Head of UK Military, Ministry of Defence

2011-2013 – Commanding Officer, HMS Dauntless, Royal Navy

2009-2009 – Commanding Officer, HMS Montrose, Royal Navy

2004-2006 – Commanding Officer, HMS Argyll, Royal Navy

1998-1999 – Commanding Officer, HMS Cattistock, Royal Navy

1997-1998 – Commanding Officer, HMS Chiddingfold, Royal Navy

1988 – Joined Royal Navy



About South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT):


  1. We provide emergency and urgent care across an area of 10,000 square miles - covering Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire - which is 20% of mainland England and is predominately rural.
  2. We serve a resident population of over 5.5 million people, with an estimated annual influx of more than 23 million tourists. We deal with around 2,500 incidents a day.
  3. We employ around 5,000 staff across 120 sites including 96 ambulance stations, six air bases and five emergency operations centres as well as our headquarters in Exeter.
  4. For our latest news and information, visit
  5. Follow us on Twitter @swasFT and like us on Facebook
  6. South Western Ambulance Charity uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service, and to improve the welfare of SWASFT staff and volunteers. For more information and to donate, click on this link:



For further information about this release, please contact:

The Communications Team

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 01392 261649



South Western Ambulance Charity logo

South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: