An NHS boss has apologised after suggesting men do not live as long as women because they are “nagged to death” by their wives.
Sir Andrew Morris, chief executive of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust made the remark in response to national figures showing a change in male life expectancy rates.
Sir Andrew was speaking at the King’s Fund, a London-based think tank that focuses on health issues on Wednesday. In attendance were Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens.
According to reports, Sir Andrew drew audible gasps when he said: “Usually the blokes die off earlier because they’re nagged to death by the other half.”
It elicited a similar response online: “Dinosaurs still roam in east Berkshire,” quipped Jon Rouse, from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, branding it an “extraordinary sexist comment” while fellow NHS director Anna McEwen described the utterance as “shocking”.
Lizzy Dobres echoed sentiments that she was dismayed to hear the remark, lamenting that there is “still such a long way to go.” Helen McKenna sarcastically branded Sir Andrew a “feminist freedom fighter.”
Sir Andrew issued a statement on Wednesday in which he said: “I made a comment that I realised right away was completely inappropriate. I would like to apologise unreservedly for any offence that it caused.”
Sir Andrew was knighted in 2015 for New Year’s Honours for services to healthcare. He was named number one on an annual list of top leaders of NHS trusts, as published by health management journal the HSJ.
He is one of the longest serving chief executives in the NHS, having taken over at Frimley Park Hospital in 1989.