EXCLUSIVE: Senior Sheffield health manager suspended for whole year on full pay of £110,000

One of Sheffield’s top doctors has been suspended.

Friday, 15th February 2019, 11:32 am
Updated Friday, 15th February 2019, 11:37 am
Sheffield NHS CCG medical director, Dr Zak Mcmurray.

The medical director of NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Zak McMurray, has been kept off work on full pay for the last 12 months.

This means he was paid more than £110,000 despite not being in his role.

Sheffield NHS CCG medical director, Dr Zak Mcmurray.

A CCG spokesman refused to comment on Dr McMurray’s suspension, but confirmed he was involved in an ‘ongoing HR process’.

It comes amid calls from Sheffield MPs for a review into the way the CCG has been operating. The body decides where money is spent on health services locally.

A report, believed to have gone to the CCG’s board but not yet been published, was demanded by politicians after they had ‘multiple, serious’ concerns about the organisation raised with them, including complaints about bosses’ style of management and allegations of ‘favouritism’.

The CCG confirmed no new medical director had been appointed to replace Dr McMurray and that the role was unfilled.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts said: “Zak McMurray is very highly rated and he has been on gardening leave for the best part of a year so it is not a happy situation,” he said.

“We want to see the medical director come back to do the excellent job he was doing before he went away.

“I hope the review sets the CCG on the path so it can do its job for the people of Sheffield. We can’t carry on like we have been doing for the last few months.”

Mr Betts was one of the MPs who called for the review.

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

He said: “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.

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

“I can’t tell whether those things are true or not, so that is why we asked for the review.”

Mr Betts said these concerns included allegations about the style of management employed at the organisation and favouritism.

But he also said people had complained about the provision of continuing healthcare services for patients with significant long-term needs, as well as what he called the ‘shambles’ of the aborted changes to urgent care facilities.

“It was a disaster,” said Mr Betts. “I have never experienced as an MP so many people coming to see saying things are not working properly.”

Maddy Ruff, accountable officer at NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We can confirm that in November, NHS England commissioned an independent assessment of the CCG’s leadership and culture as part their role as our regulator.

“Our governing body received the report last week. The report from the assessor recognised NHS Sheffield CCG has a number of strengths which included being rated as “good” in 2018 by NHS England for the second year running and having a good range of initiatives to improve staff health and wellbeing. However, there were areas which need to be improved.

“Some of the recommendations include having a more proactive strategy on the role of the CCG in Sheffield and the wider region.  They found issues with continuing healthcare (CHC) processes and recommended the CCG more actively engage families in receipt of CHC funding.

“Although we’re disappointed with some of the findings of the report, we recognise we could do better. We are taking the recommendations in the report seriously.

“To help become an “outstanding” CCG, an improvement plan will be presented in public to our governing body in May, along with the full report”.