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NHS boss says men have shorter life expectancy ‘because wives nag them to death’

Sir Andrew Morris apologises for remarks after being called a 'dinosaur' 

Katie Forster
Health Correspondent
Friday 21 July 2017 15:11 BST
Sir Andrew's ill-advised comments have been described as 'shocking' on Twitter
Sir Andrew's ill-advised comments have been described as 'shocking' on Twitter

A top NHS executive has apologised for causing offence after he said men die earlier than women because they are “nagged to death” by their wives.

Sir Andrew Morris, head of the NHS foundation trust that runs the large Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, made the ill-advised comments to an audience at health think tank The King’s Fund.

“Usually the blokes die off earlier because they’re nagged to death by the other half,” the 61-year-old is reported to have said.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, joined dozens of senior medics at Wednesday’s conference.

Among them was Jon Rouse, from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. “Sir Andrew Morris just made extraordinary sexist comment. Dinosaurs still roam in East Berkshire,” he wrote on Twitter.

Helen McKenna, who works at The King’s Fund, took a jibe at Sir Andrew, calling him a “feminist freedom fighter”, while mental health campaigner Lizzy Dobres said she was “shocked” about his comments, adding there is “still such a long way to go”.

Life expectancy is 79.1 years for men in the UK, and 82.8 years for women, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Sir Andrew said he had “made a comment that I realised right away was completely inappropriate,” adding he “would like to apologise unreservedly for any offence that it caused”.

At the event, Mr Hunt and Mr Stevens announced £325m of investment for local projects to reform NHS services, known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), in 15 of the 44 regions of England where they have been drawn up.

Sir Andrew is chief executive of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, one of the areas singled out by the STPs, which are designed to save money and improve efficiency but have proved unpopular in some regions as they involve ward closures and cuts in bed numbers.

Chaand Nagpaul, council chair of the British Medical Association (BMA), said the new funding was “unlikely to go far enough to address the overwhelming pressures and estate needs of the NHS”.

He said projects to reform the health service “need at least £9.5bn of total capital funding to be delivered successfully” and warned the plans would affect millions of patients through hospital and bed closures.

Chris Ham, chief executive of health think tank The King's Fund, said the announcement was “very welcome” as “for STPs to be successful, capital funding is needed to support the transformation of health and care services.”

“Today’s announcement is very welcome, and should be seen as a first instalment of the much larger capital investment promised in the Budget and by the Prime Minister in the election campaign."

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