Organisational Restructuring & Leadership Development, Great Western Ambulance Trust (UK)

Defence & Emergency Service

Organisational Restructuring & Leadership Development, Great Western Ambulance Trust (UK)

Defence & Emergency Service


The Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust is responsible for delivering an increasing range of health services, including Emergency Services & Patient Transport to over 2 million people across Avon, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire, UK. The Trust employs over 1,200 staff & also provides services to the thousands of visitors who travel to the region each year. The ambulance service became a part of Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) in 2013.


All NHS Ambulance Service Trusts are under great pressure to achieve & maintain the UK Government Category ‘A’ 8-minute target; as a result of this heavily weighted focus, teams rarely have enough spare capacity for training. In 2002/03, prior to merger, Synergy Global partnered with the Gloucestershire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, where the management structure was very flat. This resulted in work pressure – with managers dealing with strategy, policy & implementation. Because of this structure, delegation was difficult & there was a lack of career development for staff that were keen to progress. The Board recognised that the structure represented a risk to retaining its dedicated staff, & after consultation, it was agreed that a new organisational structure was necessary. The Board consulted with the external auditors to ensure that the new structure was affordable within the recommended Government cost targets.


Synergy Global worked with the Board to develop the new organisational structure, along with a recruitment & training program. Applicants from within the Trust filled all but one of the new posts. The Board then had to decide what to do to ensure that everyone was fully aware of what was expected of them & they must have the knowledge/skills to perform effectively. The training had to be delivered effectively, so that the impact was maximised, within a short space of time. In order for the managers in the service to have sufficient operational cover & be able to attend the training, it was decided to deliver flexible modules. The training was organised cross functionally so people from different parts of the Trust were trained together – this helped to broaden their understanding of how the organisation operated, & was less disruptive for each department.


Synergy Global helped to design, develop & implement the following:
black The new organisational structure so that staff now have a career development path
black Managerial understanding of roles/responsibilities & how to lead effectively in different situations
black Effective management of HR issues (e.g. how to manage sickness absence, & discipline)
black The training covered team leadership, motivation, delegation, & improving communication
black To build on the modules, self-paced workbooks were also produced on 14 skill sets
black The program was well evaluated, & relationships between departments significantly improved

Successful program, accredited towards a Certificate in Management Studies with a local college.

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