Express & Star

West Midlands Ambulance Service boss in £50k pay rise

The chief executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service has been given a £50,000 pay rise, taking his salary to more than £232,000.


Anthony Marsh's salary is almost £90,000 a year more than the Prime Minister, £142,500.

He splits his time between the West Midlands and the East of England Ambulance Service, where he is also the chief executive.

Ambulance service bosses defended the increase today saying it was cheaper than the cost of hiring another chief executive to run one of the organisations full time.

Only a handful of civil servants in Whitehall were paid more than Dr Marsh's current salary in the past year, one of whom was Sir David Nicholson, the former chief executive of the entire NHS, who was on £250,000 to £254,999.

Other high earners in previous years have included the former cabinet secretary and head of the Civil Service Gus O'Donnell, who was on £235,000 to £239,999.

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Dr Marsh took over the troubled East of England Ambulance Service at the beginning of the year but carried on with his post in the West Midlands

It came after he had been commissioned to write a report about the service because of concerns over its performance. He recommended cutting back on management to pay for more emergency crew.

But his own pay came under fire today, the same week Staffordshire chief fire officer Peter Dartford was awarded a £7,000 bonus a day before he said he did not support the firefighters strike over pensions.

Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, said: "This man is probably the highest paid public servant in the West Midlands and nobody has ever heard of him.

"He is receiving banker style top-ups to his huge salary whilst taxpayers are struggling to pay their monthly bills. It's not fair, it's not right and ministers should stop it."

Claire Brown, spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: "On average, Dr Marsh works three days a week in the East of England and two days a week in the West Midlands.

"He fits his national role as the chairman of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), around those commitments.

"For 2014-15, Dr Marsh's total salary for work in both Trusts is £232,226.42, £50,000 of which is an uplift due to his additional duties in the East of England; clearly considerably less than the appointment of a substantive chief executive."

He was previously in charge of the ambulance service in Essex before coming to the West Midlands in 2006 to oversee a combined ambulance service that merged Staffordshire, Shropshire, the West Midlands, Hereford, Worcestershire, Coventry and Warwickshire.

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