UPDATE: Ambulance service stresses it is seeking leadership support NOT a merger

Ambulance Service bosses are seeking to calm the public's fears of a possible merger with West Midlands crews - stating they are only seeking support.
Ambulance Service bosses are seeking to calm the public's fears of a possible merger with West Midlands crews - stating they are only seeking support.

East Midlands Ambulance Service has announced it is in talks with it's counterpart in the Birmingham area to discuss leadership support, not a merger of the two.

Pauline Tagg, Chairman stressed EMAS was discussing how West Midlands Ambulance Service could help with current challenges amid a debt crisis and dwindling performance figures.

She said: “Since the departure of Sue Noyes in March, I have been having discussions with NHS Improvement to explore opportunities to strengthen our leadership arrangements. This will allow us to support the existing team to deliver improved performance, quality and better manage our resources; not a merger with another trust.

“One of these options has involved talking with West Midlands Ambulance Service about the possibility of their Chief Executive, Dr Anthony Marsh, working with EMAS to support us with these challenges. “This option, and others, are still being explored and discussions have not yet come to a conclusion. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

An EMAS spoksperson added: "Prior to the departure of the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) Chief Executive in March 2016, discussions about the future leadership of the service began between EMAS and NHS Improvement (formerly Trust Development Authority).

"This included talks with West Midlands Ambulance Service about the potential for leadership support from their Chief Executive. This option, and others, are still being explored and discussions have not yet come to a conclusion. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."