MPs grilled the chief executive of an under-fire mental health trust, days after a government watchdog warned it must make significant changes to protect vulnerable patients.
Katrina Percy of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust – which is responsible for older people’s, learning disability and mental health services – was called before Hampshire MPs on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hampshire for health yesterday.
Public confidence is at an all-time low in Southern Health, in its leadership and in the governmentSuella Fernandes
It followed a warning by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to improve its practices following hundreds of deaths.
The trust has admitted it could have done more to investigate the deaths of 1,100 people with mental health problems and learning disabilities over a four year period.
The private meeting was chaired by Fareham MP Suella Fernandes who says she was not reassured by the answers given by Ms Percy and her team and says she will call an emergency parliamentary debate over its future once the final CQC report is published at the end of the month. Miss Fernandes described the meeting as ‘useful’ but added: ‘MPs raised lots of distressing and detailed cases that were put to Ms Percy who was asked what the trust is doing to improve services and management. There have been some changes. There are some new directors with new responsibilities with the executive team.
‘There are some new trustees but I told Ms Percy I still have serious concerns about the failing governance.’
She added: ‘Time is running out for the trust to convince me it has the right leadership to make the changes required.
‘The right thing now is for the CQC to publish the full report of its investigation.’
Havant MP Alan Mak was also at the meeting while other MPs from across the area were represented.
Miss Fernandes said she felt it was important to meet Miss Percy on behalf of her constituents, ‘because many of them have suffered tragic and devastating experiences ending in the loss of life of vulnerable people’.
‘Public confidence is at an all-time low in Southern Health, in its leadership and in its governance,’ she added.
‘It’s difficult for me to feel reassured that much is changing.’
In a statement the trust said it was a private meeting and would be inappropriate to comment.