The chief executive of a struggling hospital trust spent £50,000 on an NHS credit card in a previous job, it is claimed.

Phil Morley, boss of Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (PAHT) in Harlow which serves Epping Forest, spent the money between 2011 and April this year while in charge of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital Trust.

He joined PAHT, where corporate credit cards are not held by individual trust executives, having resigned from his previous role in April.

Last week it emerged the PAHT was in financial difficulty and had been reported to the health secretary due to a deficit of £16.5m in 2013/14 and a planned deficit of £11.5m for 2014/15.

Among the expenses paid to Mr Morley was £3728.65 spent in Florida over eight days in January 2012, according to Taxpayers' Alliance.

Also appearing on the card statement were a £1,284 stay at The Montague in London, an £817 spend at The Royal Horseguards, and a £663.45 bill from the Bloomsbury Hotel.

Andy Silvester, campaign manager for the Taxpayers Alliance said: “It is of grave concern that Mr Morley left his job in Hull under such a cloud, not just because of his expenses but because of the report on the shocking quality of care published just after his departure.

“Residents who rely on the Princess Alexandra will hope his wasteful ways have not travelled south with him.

“There must be proper monitoring of his performance so that patients don't end up paying the price."

A spokeswoman for the PAHT said: "Phil Morley is an experienced acute hospital CEO and has worked in the NHS for over 30 years. 

"His appointment followed a rigorous interview process involving key external stakeholders as well as stakeholders within the Trust. 

"Mr Morley has an MA in Leading Innovation and Change and a clinical-based degree and masters. 

"His clear focus and commitment is to build on the hospital’s achievements over the past few years and to lead the trust at a time when the NHS as a whole is facing challenges."

A statement from Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Hospital Trust said: "There is no suggestion of fraudulent activity related to credit card expenditure with all transactions receiving the necessary approvals at the time."