Health campaigners were left, “stunned and incredulous” after Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust CEO Phil Morley was seen on YouTube, dressed in a Superman costume and exhorting Trust workers to practice chair exercises and part of a workout at work initiative.
“The video itself could be seen as a bit of harmless fun, with light hearted message regarding stress in the workplace”, commented Save Our NHS Hull and East Yorkshire founder Danny Marten. “But in the context of £100 million in cuts, staff morale issues which the Trust self identified last year and the recent criticism of the Acute Assessment Unit by the Care Quality Commission which commented that “something has to give” regarding staff stress levels, this video has been seen by staff as crass and insensitive to their real needs on the front line. Comments made to us by staff are that when are they meant to find time for this when the pressure of work is almost too much to bear?”.
The YouTube clip sees lycra clad Mr. Morley dressed as Superman taking time out from answering the phone to perform exercises before leading his staff in a parody of the Peter Kaye charity video, “Amarillo”.
Theresa Vaughan is the Group Secretary and she added, “ensuring safe staffing levels at all times, being able to go on a break without feeling guilty, and not having constant fears about the future due to £100 million cuts would be a far better way to reduce stress. Perhaps a break in Florida complete with a sunset cruise such as Mr. Morley recently enjoyed would make staff more relaxed. At a time of crushing cuts we also question the cost of making the film and the message it sends about resource priorities”.