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MP demands answers over appointment of new Princess Alexandra boss

Politics / Sat 2nd Aug 2014 am31 07:44am

THE Government is coming under increasing pressure to explain why Mr Morley was given a new role as chief executive of Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust, weeks after his departure from Hull reports the Hull Daily Mail.

Mr Morley quit his £170,000-a-year role as head of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust In April.

Weeks later, crippling staff shortages and a culture of bullying at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham were exposed by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This week, the Mail revealed Mr Morley had spent £50,000 on his credit card during his three-and-a-half years in charge of the trust.

While he could not comment on the circumstances of Mr Morley’s departure, Health Secretary Mr Jeremy Hunt said: “We have changed the rules to prevent people who are responsible for poor care popping up in another part of the system.

“From now on, when trusts appoint people to boards, they can check their prior records on a central database administered by the CQC.

“We are absolutely determined to change the culture in the NHS so we stamp out the bullying and intimidation that were such a factor for so many doctors and nurses for many years.”

Hull North MP Diana Johnson has written to Mr Hunt to express concern over the Mail’s revelations that £50,000 had been spent on Mr Morley’s credit card.

In her letter, Ms Johnson said: “It has come to light that Mr Morley used NHS credit cards to purchase expensive restaurant meals and five-star accommodation in London.

“I am now even more concerned about Mr Morley’s conduct while chief executive in Hull.

“I would therefore ask that you look into this matter and, in particular, his new appointment so quickly after leaving East Yorkshire, with many questions to be answered.”

Ms Johnson had already raised concern over Mr Morley’s appointment to the new post in the House of Commons.

She said: “I raised the circumstances of Phil Morley’s sudden departure from Hull, just before May’s critical CQC report, with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the House of Commons.

“This new information about spending on luxury hotels and restaurants is on top of the issues about a bullying culture under the former chief executive that we’ve previously found out about.

“It raises questions about the financial controls at the top under its previous management.”

The MP said hospital staff would have been shocked by the spending listed on Mr Morley’s credit card statements.

“Frontline NHS staff have been going through several years of austerity, worsened by the wasteful top-down NHS reorganisation imposed from Whitehall, and these revelations will come as a shock to hard-pressed staff,” she said.

“I’m pleased if tighter financial controls are now in place, but it’s a concern for the wider NHS that Mr Morley has moved so quickly into another high-flying NHS job, this time in Essex.

“In the current financial environment especially, NHS resources need to be used for the maximum welfare of patients, who are currently seeing waiting times increasing.”

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