Anthony Marsh to become improvement advisor at struggling East Midlands Ambulance Service

Anthony Marsh, CEO of West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS), is to become improvement advisor at East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) as part of plans to help turn around the struggling service.

Marsh will be supporting EMAS on an interim basis, providing advice and support to the executive team. He will work the equivalent of one day a week, starting from Monday 25 April 2016, for a period of 6 months.

It has been confirmed that he will continue his role as CEO of WMAS.

When asked how he intends to ensure his role at WMAS will not be affected by his new position, a spokesperson said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service will operate in the normal way with the executive team continuing to run the organisation in the same way as it normally does, for example when Mr Marsh goes on holiday.”

EMAS chairman, Pauline Tagg, has been in discussions with NHS Improvement over how the service could strengthen its leadership following the departure of its former chief executive, Sue Noyes, due to “personal reasons” in March.

Mr Marsh’s appointment comes at a time when EMAS is facing considerable financial and performance difficulties.

Latest figures released by the Trust reveal a £12.46 million deficit—20 times the planned amount of £0.12 million.

The service’s financial position has triggered escalation with its regulator, the NHS Trust Development Authority, resulting in the application of a loan for £9 million.

Responses to Red 1 calls at EMAS have been well below the national target of 75%, with the service failing to achieve a response within 8 minutes in 7 out of 8 months this year.

In addition to Mr Marsh’s appointment, Richard Henderson is to continue in the role of acting chief executive until further notice. Henderson has held a number of clinical and operational senior managerial roles including divisional director for EMAS’ Lincolnshire division, and chair of the National Ambulance Service Director of Operations Group.

David Whiting is to become chief operating officer for the next 6 months. Whiting has over 30 years’ experience in the ambulance service and previously worked for EMAS as director of operations until 2009.

“I’m excited about my return to EMAS and look forward to working with colleagues and staff to help further improve services for the communities we serve,” said Whiting.

Mike Naylor becomes acting finance director from today, as current director of finance Richard Wheeler leaves EMAS. Naylor has been leading EMAS’ future planning and budgets work for 2016/17 since 1 April.

“These leadership appointments bring expertise, knowledge and experience to allow us to continue to transform and improve services for our patients,” said Tagg.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 22 April 2016.

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