England

Dr Anthony Marsh: Ambulance trust to look for new chief

Dr Anthony Marsh
Image caption Anthony Marsh took on the role of chief executive of East of England Ambulance Service in January

An ambulance trust is to start looking for a replacement for a £232,000-a-year chief executive in January - 12 months after he took up the role.

Dr Anthony Marsh, who heads the ambulance service in both the East of England and the West Midlands, has faced criticism over his salary.

The East of England Service Trust (EEAST) said Dr Marsh would remain in the job until a replacement was found.

Dr Marsh got a £50,000 pay rise when he took on the role in the east.

Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich, posted on Twitter on Wednesday night that Dr Marsh was leaving the role.

'Obscenely high'

"It was an insider who told me so I've not been officially told this by the trust," he later told the BBC.

"They seem to have shifted their position because they anticipated him being there for two years, so after a year they're announcing they're going to replace him."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tom Watson said it was "impossible" for Dr Anthony Marsh to successfully carry out both roles

Health Minister and Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has criticised Dr Marsh's "obscenely high" salary for running both trusts, who said sharing the roles had meant a saving of £130,000.

Mr Watson said Dr Marsh had been put in an "impossible position".

"He essentially has two people's jobs, and therefore it can't be done," he said.

However, both the EEAST and the West Midlands Ambulance Service have denied Dr Marsh is leaving.

"West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm that its chief executive, Anthony Marsh, is to continue in his role with the East of England Ambulance Service for the immediate future," a spokesman said in a statement.

EEAST said Dr Marsh had been brought in to "accelerate improvements", for "up to a two year period".

A spokesman said: "Following two previous unsuccessful attempts to recruit a chief executive, the board has always been clear that it will plan a new recruitment programme in 2015 and this remains the case.

"In the meantime, Anthony will continue as chief executive."

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