A senior NHS chief has reportedly been forced out of his job after exposing a sex ring involving senior consultants who used code words to arrange sex with colleagues.
It was revealed last month that the health workers exchanged hundreds of emails using code words such as ‘Marmite’ and ‘cappuccino’ to arrange sexual liaisons at one of the country’s top hospitals.
Now hospital insiders claim that the longest serving chief executive has been “pushed out”of his job after he suspended senior consultants who were using hospital premises to have sex.
The Telegraph reports:
Sir Leonard Fenwick, Newcastle and Tyne Hospital Trust’s chief executive, was put on “extended leave” from the hospital under mysterious circumstances earlier this year, a decision which angered a number of staff and governors.
Sir Leonard, 69, who has been at the helm of hospitals in the North East for 40 years, had exposed a ‘sex ring’ involving consultants who would meet female staff for liaisons – including on hospital premises – prior to being put on leave.
A hospital worker told the Telegraph they were “appalled” that the married consultants who “shared” female staff between them and would use code words such as “marmite” and “cappuccino” for sex had not been “disciplined correctly”.
The staff member said one trauma and orthopaedic consultant would meet a female colleague at the Signature Sandman Hotel, near the hospital, for sex during working hours. “They also visited each other in clinical rooms groping and openly flirting in a patient environment,” they alleged.
An investigation uncovered hundreds of emails from the consultants to three female secretarial and clerical members of staff containing details about the trysts.
According to the source, the ring sent “hundreds” of “indecent” emails and text messages “when they were paid to be working”. They referred to one of the women as ‘the Madam’ who they allegedly met when they worked at another hospital.
Concerns have also been raised that the group took photographs of their activity.
Sir Leonard had moved to suspend the two consultants, but the Trust’s chair, Kingsley Smith, and a non-executive director, Bryan Dodson, decided the pair could keep their jobs following a 20-minute disciplinary hearing, according to a source in the hospital.
“It sickens me to think that the consultants involved were reinstated with no action taken,” they said. The consultants have since resigned from their posts at the hospital, following pressure from other staff who said they felt uncomfortable working with them.
Another source said: “All the other staff were thoroughly disgusted. It was Mr Smith who allowed them back. The CEO was not actually party to the discussion. He was pushed out on gardening leave a few months later.
“The hospital has been Sir Leonard’s heart and life’s work and now he has been ousted. As far as I’m concerned it’s a cover up”.
The source told the Telegraph that the Trust’s governors had been forbidden from speaking about the issue and have been unable to contact Sir Leonard since his departure in January.
“No one is allowed to speak to [Sir Len] and no one will talk. The board of governors have a duty to the public to tell us what’s going on. But there’s been very clearly some sort of silencing and it’s very clear they’re not being told”.
Nick Brown, a Newcastle MP, has also called on the hospital to give a “reasonable explanation” as to why Sir Leonard is on extended leave.