Call for caution over �80k ambulance job

A health campaigner today called for caution after it emerged the ambulance service is in the process of recruiting an �79,000-a-year communications chief.

SUFFOLK: A health campaigner today called for caution after it emerged the ambulance service is in the process of recruiting an �79,000-a-year communications chief.

The East of England Ambulance Service is currently assessing applications for the role of associate director of communications and engagement.

The role, which offers a salary of between �63,000 and �79,000 and would initially be based in Bedford, oversees communications and engagement in all six counties the service covers, including Suffolk.

John Gummer, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said: “I'm sure the public will be asking should they be concentrating more on performance than communications.

“I am not opposed to having a proper communications strategy but it must not be a substitute for action.

“Very often communications is a substitute for getting things right.”

Most Read

The role was created after the merger of the three services covering Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk in 2006.

The successful candidate will be in charge of internal and external communications for all the counties, as well as engagement with the public and politicians, and will be answerable to the chief executive.

David Jervis, who has been filling in the role for the past six months, said: “It is a big job. We are the second largest ambulance service in the UK geographically. It is by no means priced above other jobs in the same area.

“It is an incredibly responsible job and has the sort of salary you need to pay to take on such a responsible job.

“It is about communications in every field, involving media relations, local politicians in local authorities, and overview and scrutiny committees.

“There is also the engagement element which is about encouraging the public's understanding of the ambulance service.”

What do you think about wages in the NHS? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter