Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Suffolk/Essex: Health minister’s new broadside over ambulance chief’s £232k salary

PUBLISHED: 10:03 04 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:04 04 August 2014

East Anglian Ambulance Trust CEO Anthony Marsh.

East Anglian Ambulance Trust CEO Anthony Marsh.

The £232,000 salary paid to the boss of East Anglia’s under-fire ambulance service is “obscene” and should be reviewed, health minister and Suffolk MP Dan Poulter said last night.

He was speaking after new details emerged of expenses paid to Dr Anthony Marsh, who is chief executive of both the East of England and West Midlands ambulance services.

It has been confirmed Dr Marsh uses a taxi to take him from his west Midlands home to ambulance headquarters in Cambridgeshire, with the weekly £400 fare paid on expenses. While working there, he stays overnight in a hotel costing around £80 a night.

He also has a £9,400 car allowance as part of his role with the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Last night, the ambulance trust launched a vigorous defence of the package, saying Dr Marsh used a taxi so he could work en route “dealing with hundreds of emails”.

And it said he is leading a huge turnaround in the performance of the beleaguered service, which has repeatedly failed to hit response time targets in Suffolk.

But Dr Poulter, who is junior health minister and MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich was shocked by the figures.

He said: “Whatever they say, it’s a profligate use of taxpayers’ money.

“He is a highly skilled man and doing a very good job – but he is being paid double the money he should.”

He said that in other government bodies which shared a chief executive – like some local councils in Suffolk – a single salary was paid.

Dr Marsh’s salary and expenses package was very difficult to justify to frontline staff who often found themselves doing a very difficult job:

“From the point of view of ordinary members of staff this is something that could be very demoralising.

“It is unacceptable and quite obscene.”

And he added: “I will be writing to the chairs of both the trusts and raise the issue with my ministerial colleague Earl Howe (who is responsible for the ambulance service at the Department of Health).”

Dr Marsh’s £232,000 salary to run both ambulance trusts is higher than that of the head of the whole NHS, Simon Stevens - who is on a salary of £211,000, although he has taken a voluntary 10% pay cut in light of NHS spending pressures.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Trust said: “Since his appointment, Dr Marsh has saved taxpayers approximately £8million of back office functions and management savings to help fund the recruitment of 400 new staff, with more than 120 already having joined the Trust, and brought in 147 brand new ambulances and more than 60 rapid response vehicles.

“The joint role does in fact save the taxpayer approximately £130,000 on the cost of a having a substantive chief executive in each ambulance trust.

“It’s ludicrous to suggest the taxpayer is getting poor value for money when taking everything into account – the organisation has turned a corner thanks to the actions Dr Marsh has put in place.”

A decision on whether a new Suffolk council will pursue ‘borough’ status will not be made until at least later next year, it has been decided.

A Suffolk man has plead guilty to causing injury by dangerous driving at Ipswich Magistrates court today after a woman was left with life threatening injuries following a car crash on the A1120.

There is good news for bargain hunters in Stowmarket as a discount store bids to make a return to the town.

Fire crews from Colchester and Wivenhoe have been called out to a bedroom fire in Colchester this evening.

A ground-breaking tech company that recently relocated from Cambridge to Suffolk has been working with University of Essex researchers on technology designed to make our online data safer.

From its ‘Go Bananas’ HQ in Bury St Edmunds, this forest advanture company now employs more than 1,000 people across the UK and the US.

Multi-million pound plans to transform a Suffolk RAF base into the first permanent international site for US fighter jets have been announced.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24