• Tim Moorhead will leave in September after seven years as chair
  • Organisation currently recruiting for new accountable officer
  • CCG working on improvement plan expected in July, amid concerns over leadership and bullying allegations

The chair of Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group – which has been a subject of concerns over its staff culture and bullying – will step down in September after six years in the role, HSJ has learnt.

An email sent by deputy accountable officer Brian Hughes, and seen by HSJ, announced Tim Moorhead would leave the CCG after seven years as “the first and only chair of the CCG” since it was created.

The CCG is working on an improvement plan, which is intended to address concerns over leadership, culture and bullying allegations following a critical independent investigation.

The note said: “As the CCG will soon have a new accountable officer and in light of future changes to commissioning structures within the NHS, Dr Moorhead feels now is the right time for him [to] step down and pass the baton on to a new chair to lead the CCG through this next phase.”

Mr Hughes said he would be “difficult to replace” and a process for selecting a new chair would start soon.

“The new chair will be elected from one of the other governing body GPs in the summer,” Mr Hughes said.

He added that Dr Moorhead would continue as GP senior partner at Oughtibride Surgery and would “look at exploring new opportunities either in commissioning or leadership roles in the near future”.

HSJ has approached the CCG for comment on Dr Moorhead’s departure.

HSJ reported last month that the CCG’s accountable officer Maddy Ruff had resigned and would be joining Humber, Coast and Vale Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, which covers Humber and east and north Yorkshire.

Sheffield had been seen as a relatively well performing and stable CCG for several years, until the recent concerns about leadership were revealed.

The investigation identified issues of poor behaviour by senior CCG staff, as well as dissatisfaction over the handling of bullying and harassment cases, a lack of a clear strategy and poor relationships between members of the governing body.

Multiple sources, including current and former CCG staff, raised concerns to HSJ about the culture at the CCG, which was described by one as “toxic”, with bullying, favouritism and harassment said to be widespread.

The CCG said of the external investigation that “although we’re disappointed with some of the findings in the report, we recognise we could do better. We are taking the recommendations in the report seriously”. It said it took staff concerns seriously and was committed to dealing with them “responsibly and professionally”.