THE chief executive of the ambulance service covering Staffordshire has been criticised for taking a £50,000 pay rise.
Anthony Marsh, head of West Midlands Ambulance Service, has taken on an additional interim role leading the East of England Ambulance Service.
The expanded role has brought a £50,000 pay increase - bringing his total salary to £232,000, which is £90,000 more than the Prime Minister earns.
Labour MP Tom Watson has criticised the pay deal
"I would like to know exactly how he came to be appointed to two jobs and exactly who took the decision to give him a pay rise of this size,” he said.
"Given that he is holding down two jobs with two different authorities, both on huge pro-rata salaries, I think a little more scrutiny is called for. I find it hard to believe that ministers would approve of such arrangements."
West Midlands Ambulance Service says that the arrangement is saving the taxpayer around £130,000 on the cost of having two separate chief executives.
A spokesman said Mr Marsh worked “at least 70 hours a week” to ensure both areas had his full attention.
West Midlands and East of England Ambulance Services have a combined workforce of almost 9,000 staff, answer approximately 6,000 999 calls every day and cover a combined area of over 12,000 square miles.
East of England Ambulance Service was a failing trust, but the spokesman said that since his appointment as interim chief executive, Mr Marsh had brought in new frontline vehicles and almost 400 new staff. “The organisation has turned a corner,” he added.
“By comparison, within the same two areas, there are 11 Chief Fire Officers and 10 Chief Constables.”