South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is pleased to announce the launch of a new collaboration with its four fellow southern ambulance services.

The Southern Ambulance Services Collaboration (SASC) involves SECAmb, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS), South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWAST) and is being formed against the backdrop of a challenging operational and financial environment.

The five organisations are ambitious to improve the care and services provided to patients and communities and while they have already been working together to make improvements, it is recognised that now is the right time to formalise the Collaboration as many other NHS providers have done.

The initiatives for the Collaboration will be developed by staff in each organisation, working together in the coming months and will enable them to support each other more effectively, share best practice, and work together to provide high-quality resilient care at the best value.

While the specific work is to be finalised, current ideas for driving progress include

shared procurement to reduce costs, harnessing technology and AI to improve our services and care, identifying where we can learn from each other, particularly in the 999 operations and contact centres, training and education, and staff wellbeing.

SECAmb Chief Executive, Simon Weldon said: “I am pleased to be further strengthening the links between our ambulance services.

“We all recognise the value in working together and are establishing the Collaboration to work collectively to solve some of the biggest challenges the NHS has faced such as evolving patient demand and the pressing need to improve recruitment and retention issues.

“I am sure each organisation will benefit from the sharing of best practice and collective experience, and I know colleagues across SECAmb will play a key role in the development of this work.”