WEST Midlands Ambulance Service has sought to justify the £50,000 pay rise given to chief executive Dr Anthony Marsh, stating that his dual role is of benefit to the taxpayer.
He was also recently made chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, resulting in the salary increase.
The West Midlands service has defended the move, stating that it is less than having to employ two chief executives, adding that he did not earn the salary of both.
The services, which combined currently employ almost 9,000 staff, answer approximately six thousand 999 calls every day and cover a combined area of more than 12,000 sq miles. The spokesman added that since Dr Marsh was appointed as interim chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, he had brought in brand new frontline vehicles and almost 400 new staff, helping the organisation to turn a corner as it was a failing trust beforehand.
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "Mr Marsh is now responsible for the running of both organisations, doing the job of two chief executives. He is not, however, earning the salaries of two chief executives. On average Mr Marsh works at least 70 hours a week to ensure both areas receive his full attention."