Ambulance boss gets big pay-off

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THE former chief executive of East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) left the job with a lump sum of £260,000, it has been revealed.

Paul Phillips endured criticism in March this year when he told the then struggling ambulance trust, which deals with Daventry’s medical 999 calls, that he was considering early retirement before taking immediate annual leave.

Just one month later the ambulance service was handed a fine, later revealed to be £5 million, for repeatedly missing 999 response targets.

The money was ploughed back in to help improve matters and these failings have since been addressed.

But Mr Phillips never returned to work at EMAS and officially retired in May.

The ambulance service’s annual report shows that £65,000 of the pay-off was for a notice period of six months which he did not work. The other £195,000 was a pension lump sum. The total amount is twice the annual salary which Mr Phillips was previously receiving as chief executive of EMAS.

Health union Unison spokesman Peter Savage said: “At a time when the NHS is struggling and the trust itself is trying to meet its targets, it is rather a lot to spend on letting someone go.”

The union added that the sizeable amount is what Mr Phillips was entitled to because of his service.

An EMAS spokesman said: “These contractual payments were inkeeping with our obligations to Mr Phillips as chief executive.”

Mr Phillips had worked for the ambulance service and its previous incarnations since 1975, rising to the top job, which he kept for nine years.

The trust announced this week that Phil Milligan will take the helm on December 1.