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 will transfer in July 2016.[1]

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 is one of the highest performing ambulance services in England and was one of only two to exceed all of its national performance targets in 2006-07. WMAS 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.[2]


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.[3]

In 2007 Sir Graham Meldrum was appointed as NHS foundation trust board of director, along with Anthony Marsh as chief executive of West Midlands ambulance service NHS foundation trust.

On 1 October 2007 the service merged with Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.[3][4]

West Midlands Ambulance Service became a Foundation Trust on 1 January 2013.[5]

EOC Reconfiguration

Following the merger of the trusts, WMAS inherited a number of standalone control rooms. This resulted in 5 EOCs spread across the region operating independently using varying levels of technology at the following sites:[6]

  • Millennium Point, Brierley Hill
  • Tollgate Drive, Stafford
  • Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury
  • Bransford, Worcester - closed in December 2007
  • 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 EOCs based at: Millenium Point, Brierley Hill (Trust HQ) Tollgate Drive, Stafford

The trust also operates a virtual EOC so waiting calls at either of the Trusts 2 EOCs can be answered by either EOC even if the call isn't designated to that control, increasing the speed response vehicles can be dispatched

Air Ambulances

There are 2 air ambulance charity's 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.[7]


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

Voluntary Aid Societies

In times of emergency, WMAS also requests assistance from voluntary ambulance providers, such as St John Ambulance.[8] 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.

BASICS-affiliated charities

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.
  • North Staffordshire BASICS provide similar support in the north of the WMAS region.

Other supporting organisations

In times of severe weather, WMAS also has the ability to call on the Severn Area Rescue Association who have 4x4 ambulances.[9]



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.[10] Stations include:

  • Hereford
  • Leominster
  • Ledbury
  • Ross-on-Wye
  • Bromyard
  • Kington
  • Leintwardine - closed in late 1990s


Stations include: Shrewsbury


South Staffordshire

  • Burton
  • Cannock
  • Dordon
  • Lichfield
  • Rugeley
  • Stafford
  • Tamworth


Community Ambulance Stations Include:

North Warwickshire:

  • Atherstone
  • Bedworth
  • Coleshill
  • Nuneaton

Central (Coventry and Rugby)

  • Binley
  • Canley
  • Coventry City Centre
  • Foleshill
  • Rugby Town Centre
  • Rugby Ambulance Station (situated in the north of the town close the M6 junction 1)

South Warwickshire

  • Alcester
  • Kenilworth
  • Leamington Spa
  • Shipston-on-Stour
  • Southam
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Warwick
  • Wellesbourne

West Midlands Conurbation

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" which forms a make ready system where ambulances are prepared prior to crew shift time commencement.

These are; North Birmingham; Erdington South Birmingham; Hollymore

With Response cars based at CAS (community ambulance stations)

North Cas Sites Chelmsley Wood Sutton Coldfield Solihull Shirley Dorridge Ward End Acocks Green Sheldon

South Cas Sites Woodgate Billesley Handsworth Kings Norton Northfield TowerHill Quinton


Stations include:

  • Worcester
  • Kidderminster
  • Droitwich
  • Malvern
  • Evesham
  • Redditch
  • Bromsgrove
  • Pershore

See also

Other emergency medical services

Other emergency services

See also


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  2. West Midlands Ambulance Service: Facts & Figures
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  5. http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/trust_members.aspx#>
  6. West Midlands Control Room Option Appraisal (10/10/2007)
  7. County Air Ambulance Trust Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 30 September 2006
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  10. [1]

External links