A HEAVILY-criticised health trust has defended its payments of millions of pounds to consultancies run by professional contacts of chief executive Katrina Percy.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has said it employed management consultancy Talentworks Ltd after it won a tender worth £288,000.
But the company went on to carry out further work earning £5.36m.
The second consultancy was Consilium Partners earned £600,000. Both owners had previously worked with Ms Percy in previous employment.
A trust spokeswoman said: ‘The individuals running these firms had worked with Katrina Percy in a professional capacity. This is not unusual given the specialist services they provide to the NHS. We refute in the strongest possible manner any suggestion these relationships were anything other than professional.’