IT WAS towards the end of last year that the Assembly Government announced a raft of proposed improvements for the Welsh ambulance service.

And while we commented at the time that it was obvious that reform was essential, we were concerned that one of the first suggestions in the lengthy report concerned a name change.

And we have to say, judging by the reaction of our own local health board, we are not alone.

The proposal to drop the word ambulance from the title altogether for the service to become the Welsh Emergency and Clinical Services NHS Trust seemed to us unnecessary.

In our view the proposed name change risks creating a side show which will not really have anything to do with improving performance. Of course we understand that a name change can herald the start of a new era or that it can help enforce the message that the improvements are about a different way of working.

But, if that is the case then it surely needs to satisfy basic criteria and first among them should be that it is easily understood by the general public.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board, in its response to the Assembly government, makes it quite clear that it does not think so and we have to agree. The new name is full of jargon and, perhaps most important of all, would potentially create more confusion for the public.