SOUTH Central Ambulance Service has been awarded foundation trust status.
The service will now have greater independence from the government and more control over how its money is spent.
But the newly named South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust will still be subject to NHS standards, performance ratings and inspections.
It has already recruited 8,000 members since launching its bid for foundation status at the end of 2010.
But the trust, which covers Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, is now seeking to recruit an extra 4,000 people by March next year.
Chairman Trevor Jones believes the trust will now be more accountable to the public.
He said: ‘Achieving foundation trust status means that SCAS will be more accountable to local people and we will have more freedom to decide how to run and deliver our services.’
Chief executive Will Hancock said: ‘I would like to thank our staff, volunteers, co-responders, members of the public and all who have engaged with the process towards ensuring SCAS’ bid to become a foundation trust was successful. This is a real vote of confidence in your local ambulance service.
‘With your help we will use our NHS foundation trust status to move rapidly in the direction we wish to go – delivering world class services under new models of care, and retaining our position as one of the leading ambulance services in England.
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