THE former head of Staffordshire’s ambulance service has branded the £232,000 salary paid to his successor as “obscene”.
Roger Thayne said he was “shocked and furious” at the pay level of Anthony Marsh, chief executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), who gained an extra £50,000 for taking on a new interim role as head of the East of England Ambulance service as well.
“I believe that people in public service, who have little risk to their job and are very rarely accountable, have no right to be paid this amount of money,” said Mr Thayne, who was chief executive of Staffordshire Ambulance Service until it merged with the West Midlands service in 2007.
“This sum is more than we pay the head of the Army or government ministers.”
Mr Thayne has written to his MP, Sir Bill Cash, to protest at Mr Marsh’s salary.
And claimed that WMAS’s performance did not justify exceptional pay for its leader.
Mr Thayne said figures for the numbers of people resuscitated for cardiac arrest by ambulance staff were a more accurate indication of the service’s performance than response times to 999 calls.
And he said that on those figures, WMAs was ranked the third worst-performing ambulance service in England.
The statistics, based on resuscitations per million population, showed that WMAs was saving 106 people per million of population - compared with the best-performing trust, the Isle of Wight, at 176 per million.
And the WMAs performance in 2014 was only half as good as that of Staffordshire Ambulance Service in 2006, which achieved 207.
“The statistics suggest that people are dying whose lives could be saved,” Mr Thayne said.
“And they highlight yet again how Staffordshire, and Stafford in particular, have suffered in their NHS care by losing their own high-performing ambulance service.
“In these circumstances, there should be thorough investigation into the performance of the West Midlands ambulance service - not a pay increase for the man leading it.”