Welsh Ambulance Service awarded University Trust status

Tuesday, 02 April, 2024

The sought-after status has been granted by Welsh Government in recognition of the Trust's commitment to develop its current and future workforce and to drive research and innovation.

 With effect from 01 April 2024, the Trust's new name will be the Welsh Ambulance Services University NHS Trust. 

Chief Executive Jason Killens said: "We're delighted to have secured University Trust status, but this is much more than just a name change.

 "It's an exciting opportunity to formally recognise the role we play in the education and development of ambulance workers and the world-class research we undertake to improve public health and advance treatments in the NHS, making a difference to people's lives."

Jo Kelso, the Trust's Head of Workforce Education and Development, said: "We are committed to ensuring colleagues have the very best education and development opportunities, and our partnership with universities is key to this. 

"Hundreds of colleagues across the organisation, in every area of the service, have been supported to expand their capabilities and knowledge through the many and various career pathways in place. 

"That's not to mention the plethora of clinical colleagues that have been supported to develop their skills - currently, more than 250 student paramedics are being trained with more than 100 more about to enter full-time study. 

"Securing University Trust status will only serve to strengthen our links with universities in Wales and the wider university network."

 Professor Nigel Rees, Assistant Director of Research and Innovation, said: "WAST was amongst the first ambulance services internationally to embrace academia and has a longstanding reputation for developing and delivering high quality research and innovation. 

"University Trust status is a fitting recognition of the efforts our people, and national and international partners who are collaborating to develop world class efficient, effective and sustainable healthcare." 

Non-Executive Director Hannah Rowan, who is Chair of the Trust's Academic Partnerships Committee, added: "The move to become a University Trust articulates, emphasises and recognises the work that we undertake with universities and shows the ever-greater focus on training and research.

 "We're grateful to Welsh Government for supporting us to navigate this journey, which has been several years in the making."

 Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Eluned Morgan, said: "I am very pleased to grant University Trust status for the Welsh Ambulance Service. 

"This represents a commitment by the Trust to ensure university expertise and activity is improving the quality of care and outcomes for patients. 

"University Trust status is unique to Wales and is based on a robust assessment of a broad range of evidence across our three criteria - Research and Development; Training and Education; and Innovation."

 The Trust has embarked on a phased re-branding exercise to reflect University Trust status, as well as its new Crown Badge following the coronation of King Charles III.


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