Local media is reporting that Anthony Marsh, the part-time Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, is to “step aside” from his role “earlier than planned” when a replacement is found.
Mr Marsh, who joined the Trust to see through a new two-year turnaround plan, has spent just 11 months at the Trust and was expected to see the two years through.
His appointment however has been controversial with media attention surrounding the contract he signed up to. It is reported he received a total of £232,000 a year for running the Trust in East Anglia and the West Midlands, as well as expenses for hotels and transport while staying in the two areas. This all at a time when EEAST has to find £50m savings over 5 years.
But while he brought an increase in a boost of morale within the service there had been a varied picture for response times in North Norfolk where the worst response times are in the region. This is all at a time when demand has been increasing as we head to head to the Winter months.
Act on Ambulances campaigners from the North Norfolk Labour Party are now questioning where this will leave our local ambulance trust.
Denise Burke, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North Norfolk, asked: “So much trust had been put in Anthony Marsh’s appointment and his two-year improvement programme so I am very surprised to see the reports that he is leaving after just 11 months. Questions have to be asked of the Health Ministers, and of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust once again. In particular I must ask what has gone wrong and why is Mr Marsh leaving?
We need to know where will this leave the ambulance service in the East and how will the massively underperforming service be turned around now?
The Trust needs the leadership Anthony Marsh brought and I suspect it will be a struggle to find a replacement.
Furthermore we still have very poor response times in North Norfolk even before the onset of winter, and we still haven’t truly moved on from the issues that dogged the service two years ago.
It’s time Lord Howe left Westminster and visited us in North Norfolk so we can hear for ourselves what the government plans to do for residents here who desperately want to see improvements in response times.”