Sheffield health chief ‘not resigning’ say CCG bosses after secret ‘crisis talks’ at city hotel

Sheffield’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Group have denied its accountable officer Maddy Ruff plans to leave in the summer.

By Dan Hayes
Friday, 15 March, 2019, 16:49

The CCG’s senior leadership has been embattled since the Star revealed its 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 a independent NHS England review, which was critical of the organisation’s executive team.

Interview with Maddy Ruff, accountable officer for the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group. Picture: Chrs Etchells

The governing body met twice last week to agree a plan of action for how the review’s recommendations would be implemented.

However, the Star can reveal the governing body met for a third time in secret to discuss the ongoing fallout from the row.

The meeting, which was called for by members of the governing body worried about recent press coverage, took place at the Mercure Hotel on Tuesday, March 5.

A source told the Star that the position of the CCG’s accountable officer, Maddy Ruff, was discussed at the meeting, with members told she would leave in the summer.

Sheffield CCG medical director, Dr Zak McMurray.

The CCG said they did not comment on ‘informal meetings’ and that Ms Ruff would be staying in her role.

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Sheffield CCG chair Dr Tim Moorhead said: “As with all NHS organisations, there are lots of informal meetings that take place each week at the CCG. It is not our policy to comment on the content of discussions at informal meetings between staff.

“Our accountable officer, Maddy Ruff, is not resigning nor retiring and will remain as our chief officer.

Dr Moorhead also responded to a question raised about the CCG in the House of Lords by former Sheffield MP David Blunkett.

Former Sheffield MP Lord David Blunkett.

Lord Blunkett asked the Government what plans they had to ‘restore confidence’ in the beleaguered organisation, ensure the protection of whistleblowers and ‘refresh’ the organisation’s decision-making structure.

Dr Moorhead said: “We are aware that Lord Blunkett raised a number of questions in parliament regarding the findings of the independent assessment that was published this month.

“One of his questions related to whistleblowing. The independent assessor didn’t uncover any issues on whistleblowing therefore the report doesn’t make recommendations on our approach to whistleblowing. However we are always keen to learn and improve how we listen and respond to staff.

“To learn from the independent assessment and move the organisations forwards, we are currently developing an improvement plan, with input from staff and partners, to systematically address all the issues in the report.”