Ambulance service cancels Dorset contract

Ambulance service cancels Dorset contract

Published by The Wessex FM News Team at 6:59am 17th July 2019. (Updated at 2:23pm 17th July 2019)

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) will be withdrawing from its contract for urgent care services across Dorset - including the NHS 111 service.

The contract will be handed back to the local health partnership, which is led by Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust (DHC).

SWASFT say they've struggled to maintain the level of staffing needed to operate it's NHS 111 service alongside 999 emergency services.

A SWASFT spokesperson said:

"In particular, resilience is an issue as unlike many other providers of NHS 111, SWASFT does not have other call centres or 111 services to share the call queue or fall back to in times of extremis.

"The 999 service will be unaffected by this change. "

Dorset HealthCare will start looking for a new provider for urgent care in the county, including NHS 111. They aim to ensure there's still a locally run service, operated by local staff.

A date's not yet been agreed for the transfer of services to the local health partnership.

Over the next few months SWASFT and DHC will work together to make the transfer smooth. 

A SWAFST Spokesperson said:

"Discussions are still at an early stage as to how and when this change will happen and more details will be shared when appropriate.

"SWASFT staff currently working on the Dorset contract have been informed of this decision and will be guided and supported through the transition period with full HR advice and Union consultations, together with one-to-one meetings. "