NHS England leads the National Health Service (NHS) in England
The NARU service is constituted under a contract between NHS England and a host ambulance trust, currently West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS).
The Chief Executive of the current host is also Chair of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and leads on its “Resilience’ portfolio. This individual is also the current National Strategic Ambulance Advisor.
NHS England monitors the NARU service and its outputs via a Steering Group and Contract Management Group. These groups meet quarterly and monthly throughout the year.
The host trust ‘administrates’ NARU and oversees performance of its obligations under the contract. This includes administering the NARU finances on behalf of NHS England and facilitating various procurement processes.
The host Trust also facilitates the secondment or fixed term contracts used to employ NARU staff. These administration functions are managed through monthly meetings of a WMAS-owned NARU Delivery Board.
The day-to-day management of NARU, including its agreed work programme, is managed by the NARU Central Management Team, Chaired by the NARU Director.
The NARU contract includes an annual budget to deliver the service. This is passed by NHS England to the host ambulance trust which then administrates these funds on behalf of NHS England. This helps ensure the highest quality governance and transparency in all NARU business areas.
The annual NARU budget, in very broad terms, contains three provisions:
- The NARU operating budget
- Pass-through funding which is ‘passed on’ to English Ambulance Trusts to support delivery of the interoperable capabilities (excluding HART which is commissioned locally via the standard Ambulance Contract arrangements).
- A modest facilitation fee for services provided by the host Trust.
NARU funding is solely for the delivery of the work programme agreed with NHS England and cannot be used for any other ambulance service purpose. Any surplus funds are returned to NHS England at the end of the contract period.