Ambulance boss claims £30,000 expenses


A controversial NHS ambulance boss on a salary approaching a quarter of a million pounds has also claimed nearly £30,000 in 16 months in hotel and transport expenses.

Anthony Marsh earns £232,000 as head of both the West Midlands and East of England ambulance services - #90,000 more than the Prime Minister.

He took up the joint role in January 2013 and works three days a week for the East of England service which covers Bedfordshire, and two for the other.

He came under fire from Health Minister Dan Poulter earlier this month who said his salary package was “unacceptably high” and sent a “very bad message” to front-line staff.

A Freedom of Information request has now revealed that Mr. Marsh has stayed at 92 hotels in the last 16 months and claimed over £13,000 in expenses.

That includes 20 nights at the four-star Pullman St Pancras hotel in London which cost the taxpayer £4,514.

Since July 2013 he has also claimed more than £10,000 in taxi and car costs and over £6,000 on train fares.

The ambulance services claim that Mr Marsh’s combined role saves £130,000 in public money and said he had no choice but to stay in hotels.

A spokesman said: “Like every ambulance service chief executive in England, Mr Marsh spends time in London meeting MPs, other stakeholders, officials from NHS England and working on national projects through the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives.

“As he is currently representing two ambulance services, this work is being delivered more effectively and efficiently for the taxpayer.

“Mr Marsh is currently running two ambulance trusts; he does not receive the salary of two chief executives saving the taxpayer approximately £130,000 on the cost of having a substantive chief executive in each ambulance trust.

“By comparison, within the same two areas, there are 11 chief fire officers and 10 chief constables.

“As Mr Marsh works several days a week in the East of England each week, it would not make sense to have him travel down on a daily basis and therefore requires accommodation.

“This is governed by NHS Guidelines. The lowest cost is always sought for his overnight accommodation such as using standard government negotiated rates.”

Mr Marsh was brought in to oversee EEAS after criticising its failings in a report. The service says Mr Marsh has put in plans so its targets are met.

A spokesman said his joint role has helped make £6million savings which was funding 400 staff, 147 ambulances and over 60 rapid response vehicles.

The expenses figure was revealed in a Freedom of Information request submitted by the BBC.