Chief executive Anthony Marsh to leave East of England Ambulance Trust

Anthony Marsh

Anthony Marsh - Credit: Archant

The East of England Ambulance Service will look to recruit a new chief executive in January, but insist the man currently in the £232,000-a-year post is going nowhere until they find a replacement.

Anthony Marsh will step a side earlier than planned in the new year when a new chief executive is found.

Mr Marsh, who is also the chief executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service, was brought in on a two-year contract 11 months ago to turn the struggling service around.

He has scored some successes in recruiting new student paramedics and tackling response times, but will leave before his contract is up.

Mr Marsh, whose high salary was branded “obscene” by Health Minister MP Dr Dan Poulter in August, has split his time between the two ambulance trusts.

The trust revealed last night that two previous efforts to recruit a chief executive had proved fruitless.

The service, which has been criticised in the last two years by patients, commissioners, MPs and the health regulator for slow response times, wants a long-term, permanent leader.

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A spokesman said: “Anthony Marsh, who is also chief executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service Foundation Trust, was brought in to accelerate improvements in immediate service delivery and to build the foundations for long term sustainability for up to a two year period.

“As a result of a series of actions that he put in place when he took over in January long ambulance delays are significantly reduced, performance is improving, complaints are down, and compliments are up, although we recognise there is still much work for us to do.

“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 and continue to drive through service improvements.”