Ambulance chief’s luxury hotel stays ‘were the cheapest option’

East Anglian Ambulance Trust CEO Anthony Marsh. Photo: Steve Adams East Anglian Ambulance Trust CEO Anthony Marsh. Photo: Steve Adams

Friday, July 25, 2014
11:21 AM

Ambulance trust officials have defended their chief executive after he was criticised for staying at two luxury hotels on expenses.

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The East of England Ambulance Service Trust said interim chief executive Anthony Marsh sometimes needs overnight accommodation because he also heads the West Midlands Ambulance Service, and needs to work in both regions.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Dr Marsh’s pay had increased by £50,000 after he took on the East of England job, in addition to that in the Midlands, in January.

Now it has emerged he had spent three nights at Champneys spa in Henlow for £75 a time, and six nights at Letchworth Hall Hotel and Spa in Hertfordshire, at £85 a night.

West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson said the health chief’s remuneration was becoming “curiouser and curiouser”, but a spokesman for the Midlands trust said that, in comparison, accommodation and breakfast at a well-known budget business hotel in central Norwich next week cost more.

In a joint statement, the two trusts said: “Dr Marsh is currently running two ambulance trusts; he does not receive the salary of two chief executives. Whilst working in the East of England, he does require accommodation which is governed by NHS guidelines.

“On the nights in question, he did stay at Champneys at a rate of £75 a night. He arrived at around 10.30pm each evening and left by 8am the following morning and did not use any of the facilities.

“The joint role saves the taxpayer approximately £130,000 on the cost of having a substantive chief executive in each ambulance trust. In addition, the lowest cost is always sought for his overnight accommodation.”

Was this value for money? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

28 comments

  • The issue I have is why are his hotel bills being paid at all? He has chosen to taken two jobs part time a considerable distance apart any travel and hotel costs are his problem and should come out of his pocket

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    BobE

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • all ambulance stuff should stay in 5 star hotels with the jobs they do and see. look at the government they do swear word lol and stay in 5 star

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    Lee mundy

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • id also like to add that 90% of east Anglian ambulance staff despise this man. his actions AND his unprofessionalism. since he took over the ambulance trust has "already" lost the PCT contract to a private company, and axed "Many" jobs of the non operational staff, those who support the operational (paramedics)................ the two cant operate without each other. under this guy, the east of England ambulance service will crumble, so he will have another failed ambulance service to add to his CV.

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    someoneintheknow

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • my original comment was not published by EDP on here. in a nutshell, marsh has already been proven to ruin south west ambulance service. now he is running east of England AND another. and all for the bargain price of 90k MORE than the prime minister.

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    someoneintheknow

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • someoneintheknow

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • I wonder if his driverPA stays at the same place ?

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    Wife

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • says another EEAST member, as only employees call it EEAST.

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    someoneintheknow

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • These shocking hotel prices are ....errrrr...not very shocking. His salary deserves scrutiny and his secretary deserves an award for getting him bargain prices.

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    dj

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Think EDP and others need to back down and start printing figures of calls of all emergency service per week so that we can all see if we do get value for money. Every accident story goes on about Fire on scene but very little about Ambulance hard work too. Local paper needs to be open and fair to all services. What about Police and Fire chief stay out at meetings in London ect .... Nothing said. County service ! Ambulance service is that 6 countries. To cover with less money.. Not a lover of sir Marsh...but let's be fair....

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    DAVE !

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • If he's staying there for his part time job then perhaps he needs to consider different arrangements. Especially after his £50,000 salary increase for doing two part time jobs!

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • The room rates seem very reasonable and as long as someone is happy that the stays are necessary then this is clearly a none story. If doing both jobs is a long term plan then perhaps he should be living somewhere local to both sites but in the short term it is difficult to know why this "story" is being published.

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    amsterdam81

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • What almost everyone else said. My first reaction was "bang in line, if not cheap for weeknight stays", second reaction was "... at Champneys? What excellent value - pity he couldn't (apparently) use the facilities", third reaction was "Tom Watson? MP? That's rich". Rent-a-quote, media tart Watson really needs to learn to keep his enormous trap shut.

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    lockers

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Agree a non-story. These nightly costs are at the low end for a mid-week hotel stay. My work requires me to stay away often, and corporate deals can often get me a 5 star luxury hotel for cheaper than a budget hotel.

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    AE

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Re my last comment it appears this page can't work out an oblique between figures. Should read £75 to £85 !

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    dinosaur detective

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • What a non story. A MP remarking on the expenses of another? Spot the irony anyone? So what if Dr Marsh has received a £50K salary increase? Is he to be expected to do 2 jobs for a lower salary? Total rubbish that this "newspaper" prints these days.......

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    Tootyfrooty

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Watson wants to return to Planet Earth. B&B at £7585 pn is a very good deal. A complete non story.

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    dinosaur detective

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • MP Watson spent £216 for 2 nights on a jolly in Dublin in 2013. We also pay rent of 1200 per month for I guess a London pad. People in glass Houses and all. !!

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    glen t

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Ambulance service is a handy punch bag for the press isn't it?. Everyone depends on it and any negative message you can generate gets people’s attention. He earns 50K from the east of England, so that puts him on a huge combined salary, but look at it the other way our failing ambulance service gets a new chief, with a proven track record for only 50K ! How much less is that than the previous chief? Bargain! If your constant moaning and sniping at him makes him jack it in would you have done the people of the east of England a favour ? I strongly suspect not. £75 a night for a hotel, complete non-story and dragging out a rent-a-quote MP to moralise on expenses is laughable on several levels

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    Danny Brown

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Bizarre. What sympathetic comments, and undeserved hostility towards one of our few effective MPs. Why do we pay for Dr Marsh's hotels while he's doing his job? And what use is he the next day if he spends his nights camping out in cheap hotels? This is no lifestyle for someone in his position.

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    Blackeye

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Not Harlow but Henlow.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • I have just used trip advisor for mid week hotel prices in both Letchworth and Harlow. The prices come out near enough what has been claimed by Dr Marsh. Leave him alone, he is doing a good job.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Another MP that doesn't know the cost of living. I wouldn't mind betting if Dr Marsh went through the NHS Supplies agency he'd be paying twice that much. Ridiculous - seems to be a media campaign going on here.

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    John.dale

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • I think that's cheap.... Stop publishing slanderous stories @Ipswichstar. Most higher end hotels are at least double that per night.

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    Rory Breaker

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Having just used 2 hotels.. Travel Lodge (near M4 very hot and noisy) but £27 a night, then to a city centre £157 a night but breakfast included and a better nights sleep) ## they are weekend rates ##. £75-85 isn't bad for a weekday.

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    Ipswich Company Director

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • I wonder how much Tom Watsons last overnight hotel bill was?

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    clive coleman

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • £75 a night isn't bad is it? Travel lodge can be more expensive than that. Not much news in this story unless you check out the MP's expenses.

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    JulesofNorwich

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • A city centre hotel is more expensive than one out side to city irrespective of the brand (to a point).

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    KeithS

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • An MP questioning expenses that's ripe. If that's all that he is costing (including the extra salary) and he turns round EEAST then its money well spent.

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    Arkle

    Friday, July 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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