• MP says she understands former chief executive has set up consultancy “to offer services to NHS”
  • Phil Morley announced his retirement from Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust earlier this year
  • Mr Morley and former chief nurse Amanda Pye are listed as company directors

An MP has called for a debate on “the revolving door of failed NHS managers” today after claiming a former trust chief had set up a consultancy firm “offering his services to the NHS”.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson suggested in Parliament that Phil Morley, who announced his retirement in February from Royal Alexandra Hospitals Trust in Essex, had set up a consultancy.

During business questions in the House of Commons on Thursday, Ms Johnson said: “The… previous chief executive of Hull Royal Infirmary left having put the hospital into a terrible state.

“He then moved into another hospital which subsequently has moved into special measures.

“During that time, he was being investigated by NHS Protect, the anti-fraud body of the NHS.

“I understand now he has retired and set up a consultancy to offer his services to the NHS.

“I wonder whether we could now have a debate on the revolving door of failed NHS managers and their role in the NHS.”

Documents lodged with Companies House show the firm, called Head Heart and Hands Consultancy, was registered on 23 January with Mr Morley listed as company director.

Amanda Pye, the former chief nurse and chief operating officer at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust while Mr Morley was chief executive, is also listed as company director.

Under the banner “What Makes Us Special”, the company website says: “Most change fails because we start with what people or organisations do.

“Most initiatives stall because we focus on results and outputs. We believe you have to balance the thinking, emotions and behavior of individuals, their team and the whole organisation to really transform them.” 

The website does not mention the NHS or healthcare but features a photograph of a woman in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around her neck.

It says: “Whatever your needs, personal coaching, team building, whole departments or transforming whole organisations, we can help.”

While it does not list clients, the site quotes an unnamed customer saying: “I would highly recommend this approach to family, friends, or co-workers and can’t wait to use them again.”

Mr Morley was chief executive of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust until his sudden departure in April 2014.

Weeks later, the Care Quality Commission published a report highlighting concerns from some staff about a target driven culture leading to bullying. Conciliation service ACAS produced a second report that said some employees felt senior staff supported a bullying culture.

Ms Johnson was one of the MPs in Hull, including former health secretary Alan Johnson, to take up one complainant’s case against Mr Morley, telling health secretary Jeremy Hunt it had wider implications for the NHS and whistleblowers.

Mr Morley contested the concerns, stressing he “will always take a zero tolerance approach to bullying”. Princess Alexandra Hospital said an assessment had concluded Mr Morley, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, was a “fit and proper person” for the role of its chief executive.

Mr Morley joined the the Essex trust in July 2014 and remained chief executive until announcing his retirement in February, after 35 years in the health service.

Princess Alexandra Hospital was rated inadequate by the CQC and placed in special measures in October after inspectors noted an “apparent disconnect between the trust board leadership level and the ward level”.

The regulator said: “It was evident that the trust leaders were not aware of many of the concerns we identified through this inspection.”

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, said Ms Johnson had raised “what sounds like an extremely concerning issue regarding one individual”.

She said Ms Johnson had raised a “bigger issue around the fact that there is a sort of revolving door of people who fail in one job and move into another one, very often at significant expense to the taxpayer”.

HSJ contacted Head Heart and Hands Consultancy to offer Mr Morley the opportunity to comment on Ms Johnson’s question in Parliament.

However, there had been no response by the time HSJ published this story.

A spokesman for NHS Protect said: “I cannot confirm or deny whether NHS Protect is involved in this matter.”