East of England Ambulance Service appoints new chief executive

Dr Anthony Marsh
Image caption Dr Anthony Marsh delivered a report highly critical of the East of England Ambulance Service

The new chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service is to be the man who gave a damning report into its leadership, the BBC understands.

Anthony Marsh, chief executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service will take over the helm of the troubled service from Andrew Morgan.

It is understood Dr Marsh will retain his job in the West Midlands.

The union Unison said it "cautiously welcomed" Dr Marsh's appointment and hoped he would create "stability".

In a statement the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, would not confirm Dr Marsh's appointment, saying only that the trust had "been asked to pause the recruitment programme for a permanent chief executive so that further options can be explored and developed".

It said Andrew Morgan would continue as interim chief executive.

The West Midlands service said it was "not aware of any announcement by the East of England Ambulance Service".

But Ray Salmon, regional organiser of Unison in the West Midlands, said Dr Marsh had announced to the union in a meeting that he was taking on the East of England job but keeping his job in the West Midlands.

'Little bit worrying'

He said Dr Marsh had "delivered a lot of change" in the West Midlands, and the service was "completely different" to 2006 when he took over as chief executive.

Image caption Andrew Morgan is the trust's temporary chief executive

Gary Aplin, Unison's branch secretary for the East of England service, said: "We would welcome a substantive chief executive officer without a shadow of a doubt, hopefully to take the trust forward and out of the mess it's currently in."

But he expressed concern that the new chief executive would be keeping his job in the West Midlands.

"We are in quite a situation where we need some strong leadership permanently... our concern is that he's doing two jobs and that's a little bit worrying," he said.

Dr Marsh was commissioned to write a report in to the East of England Ambulance Service Trust because of concerns over the trust's performance.

His highly-critical report in June said there was a lack of accountability throughout the organisation and made 24 specific recommendations, including cutting back on management to pay for more emergency crews.

Prior to becoming chief executive in the West Midlands, Dr Marsh was chief executive of Essex Ambulance Service before it was reorganised and led it from being zero-rated to a top-performing three star trust.

The East of England Ambulance Service covers Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

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