South Western Ambulance Service


South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) provides a wide range of emergency and urgent care services across a fifth of England covering Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and Gloucestershire. Our operational area, covering 10,000 square miles, is predominantly rural, but includes large urban areas such as Bristol, Plymouth, Exeter, Bath, Swindon, Gloucester, Bournemouth and Poole.

SWASFT is the primary provider of 999 services across the South West. We also provide Urgent Care Services across Dorset. The Trust employs more than 4,000 staff and we have 96 ambulance stations, three clinical control rooms, six air ambulance bases and two Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART). SWASFT serves a population of around 5.3 million residents but that figure increases during the holidays to include an additional 17.5 million visitors to the South West.

At SWASFT HQ there is a dedicated research office where our research staff are based – Head of Research, Audit and Improvement, Research Manager, and Research Paramedics. The Research, Audit and Improvement team includes the Clinical Information and Records Office (also based at SWASFT HQ) who process and analyse the Electronic Clinical Information System, supporting the design and development as well as the delivery of our Research, Service Evaluations and Audits, by providing data to evidence matters, extract data to feed into studies and analyse results and data sets to inform decision making. The close working relationship between the teams is instrumental in the ability to successfully deliver research projects.

SWASFT has an evidenced-based culture and exceptional library facilities. SWASFT encourages staff to participate in training courses in research and the research team actively engages with staff, advertising any such opportunities through the dedicated Learn With SWASFT intranet pages.

Current research projects

SWASFT is involved with a number of important research studies, including clinical trials and observational trials. SWASFT has a strong track record in collaborative research and works with a number of NHS and academic institutions as well as commercial companies, both locally and nationally to successfully deliver high quality research projects. Current projects include:

        • Evaluation of the Valsalva Assist Device to treat SVT (EVADE SVT)

        Participating in high quality research is an integral part of SWASFT’s business, providing the evidence that can lead to changes in practice and improve care for our patients. SWASFT fully supports the Integrated Clinical Academic Programme funded by Health Education England and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and a number of paramedics are progressing down this training route.

        For more information please visit SWASFT website.

        SWASFT research contact details

        If you are interested in doing research with SWASFT, please get in touch:

        Dr Sarah Black – Head of Research, Audit and Improvement

        Ria Osborne – Research Manager

        SWASFT Research Office

        Social media

        Follow us on Twitter @swasftResearch for news and updates.