South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust logo

Welcome to SWASFT

Overview and Benefits

The Trust became the first Ambulance Service in the country to be registered to operate as an NHS Foundation Trust.

Foundation Trusts have more freedom from central government control, though they remain fully part of the NHS. Foundation Trusts are duty-bound to deliver free care, based on need, not ability to pay, but they are more accountable to the local community. This is because local people and staff can become members of the Trust and elect representatives to serve on a Council of Governors or even stand for election as a governor themselves.

Foundation Trusts are:

  • Part of the NHS and subject to NHS standards, performance ratings and inspections. They must also work in partnership with other NHS organisations and co-operate with local partners;
  • Accountable to Monitor (the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts), who oversee and monitor them against their terms of authorisation and has powers to intervene.


As an NHS Foundation Trust we have:

  • Greater freedom to determine our own future;
  • More flexibility to tailor services to the particular needs of the communities we serve;
  • New powers to enter into legal and financial agreements with partner healthcare organisations, enabling us to work more effectively together;
  • New financial freedoms, allowing us to invest surplus funds where they are most needed.

South Western Ambulance Charity logo

South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: Donate to South Western Ambulance Charity | Give as you Live Donate