Sheffield health chief to resign amid claims of ‘bullying, harassment and favouritism’ at commissioning body

The chair of Sheffield’s NHS commissioning body is to step down, it has been revealed.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 12:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 18:02 pm

Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chair Tim Moorhead will leave his role this September after seven years in the role.

The news comes just days after it was revealed that CCG accountable officer Maddy Ruff would also be leaving the organisation on June 9.

Sheffield CCG chairman Dr Tim Moorhead.

Earlier this year, the CCG was subject to an independent investigation into its leadership and management culture amid claims of bullying, harassment and favouritism.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A spokesperson for NHS Sheffield CCG said: “NHS Sheffield’s chair, Dr Tim Moorhead, is to step down in September after seven years in the role.

“He will continue in his role as GP at Oughtibridge Surgery, where he is a senior partner.”

The Health Service Journal quotes an email written by deputy accountable officer Brian Hughes in which he says Dr Moorhead feels ‘the time is right’ to leave the organisation.

The imminent appointment of a new accountable officer and the future changes to commissioning structures within the NHS had influenced his decision, the email added.

Sheffield CCG – which decides where health money is spent in the city – is one of the biggest in the country and has an annual budget of £800m.

Its senior leadership has been embattled since the Star revealed in February medical director Dr Zak McMurray has been on special leave on full pay for more than a year.

Claims of bullying, favouritism and harassment led to the body being subject to an independent NHS England review, which was critical of the organisation’s executive team.

After the report was published in March, the CCG’s board agreed to produce an ‘improvement plan’ to address the criticisms it had identified.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, who was one of those who had called for an independent review, said multiple concerns about the way the CCG had been operating had been being raised with him and a number of his colleagues.

These included Dr McMurray’s suspension as well as the CCG’s management culture, the atmosphere working there, favouritism and conflicts around appointments.

“More than a dozen senior people within the CCG, people in the Council and other organisations came to us and expressed a whole range of issues,” he said in February.

“We asked for the review because concerns had been raised by so many people which clearly indicated that something needed putting right.

“I have never experienced as an MP so many people coming to see saying things are not working properly.”