WEST Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been given permission to become an foundation trust.

Monitor, the regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has authorised the service (WMAS) - which will still be part of the NHS and subject to the same inspection regime for quality and standards - to make the move.

WMAS will be the fifth ambulance service, of 11 across England, to gain foundation trust status which will strengthen the trust’s accountability to people in the West Midlands, rather than central Government.

Anthony Marsh, WMAS chief executive, said: “Our staff have invested a huge amount of time improving still further, the clinical care to patients within the region.

“The success of our application means we have met the relevant quality thresholds. Monitor is assured that our trust is ‘well governed’ and ‘financially viable’. This stands us in good stead to invest in the future to enhance services locally.”

The trust has already established a directly-elected members’ council consisting of 15 public and five staff governors together with appointed representatives from nine partner organisations.

The members’ council is working closely with the trust board to drive forward strategic planning for the benefit of patients.

Trust chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, added: “Achieving NHS foundation trust status will ensure the trust is even more responsive to the needs of patients.”

For more information visit wmas.nhs.uk