Today’s news that former Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital Trust CEO Phil Morley went on a £50k spending spree using an NHS credit card paid for by you and me, comes as no surprise. That is unless you are a member of the Westminster political elite where such behaviour is de rigeour.
Morley, reports the Hull Daily Mail’s Alison Coggan splurged cash on fripperies such a £817.50 stay at the five-star Royal Horseguards Hotel in London, the former HQ of Britain’s Secret Service during The First World War, and a £1,284.05 stay at the four-star Montague in London.
This at a time when the Trust was expected to swallow a £100 million budget cut. In June 2012 Hull East MP Karl Turner told the BBC that people, “would lose their lives”, and consultants wrote an open letter to Morley saying that, “Care will be critically eroded”. Ward 12, the specialist Neuro Ward that delivered live saving treatment to me in 2010 was soon closed.
Karl Turner is the only MP to have questioned on a consistent basis what was going on at the Trust, and last year he personally delivered a 10,000 strong petition to Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt. Karl brought Health Secretary Andy Burnham to Hull last year so that we could brief him on the disgraceful state of the leadership at HEY.
Morley does not exist or act in a vacuum. His actions merely reflect the sad and depressing state where top executives in the public sector copy the example set by our political elite.
Already earning top dollar some MP’s think it is acceptable for us to pay for the upkeep of their homes by charging the best part of £1,000 for an architect to check out leaking windows. They also expected us to pay for food mixers and crockery. Then there are the Duck Houses and toilet seats.
This sense of grotesque entitlement is borne of a life led well away from the stresses and strains the rest of us feel on a daily basis. Some MPs even claim that they are acting altruistically because they have turned their backs on the riches on offer in the private sector. The truth is that many could not cope outside the thumb sucking comfort zone of the public sector where there are no consequences for poor performance, and there is no real scrutiny.
This story must not act as a distraction. The Tories will seize on this scandal to divert attention from their dash to flog off the NHS to the highest bidder.
If Morley’s actions act as a lightning rod for disaffection with the state of the NHS, then it will be, once again, the fault of the elite in Westminster. The writing was on the wall regarding Phil Morley from the start. His jaunts to Florida, his idiotic antics on YouTube (since deleted) and report after report of bullying and poor standards of care were systematically ignored. Karl Turner can’t hold such a vast behemoth to account on his own.
Shame on the others. Shame on them.