Probe calls into ambulance pay rises

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden (below)
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden (below)
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BLACKPOOL’S MPs today added their voices to calls for an investigation into pay rises for ambulance chiefs.

It has been revealed four senior managers at the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) have seen their pay jump by up to 20 per cent at the same time pay for frontline workers has been frozen.

Gordon Marsden

Gordon Marsden

The ambulance service justified the move by saying a restructuring of operations has expanded the responsibilities of the individuals concerned.

But Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “It appears to be a rather dreadful misreading of the trust’s responsibilities to the people who use the service.

“Surely it cannot be right, whatever the circumstances, when everybody else including all the rest of the staff in the trust, are having to tighten their belts.

“I support calls for a proper inquiry and explanation as to how this has happened without apparently going through all the procedures.”

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said: “I’m sure there will be concerns expressed at a time of public sector pay restraint.

“I will be writing to the trust to ask for an explanation of the measures by which the increases were made.”

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle has also demanded a top level investigation.

The NWAS originally had four heads of service who were on pay band 8c, which has a top payment of £67,136. Following a restructure, there are now three heads of service – all of who have been moved on to pay band 8d which goes up to £80,810.

Another senior manager who was on band 8d being paid around £80,810 has been moved to band 9, with a top pay level of £97,478.

None of the pay band changes went through the Agenda for Change pay panels as the process demands, despite some of the rises being as much as 20 per cent.

Bob Williams, acting chief executive for NWAS, said: “Due to operational requirements, the trust recognised a need to restructure the roles carried out by four heads of service throughout the region. It was agreed at the trust board the positions should be reduced from four posts to three but the three remaining posts would include increased responsibilities and accountability.

“Like all organisations, the trust has to restructure and reorganise from time to time and if roles expand then people need to be recompensed for that.”

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