Southern Health slammed as chief executive keeps her job

Katrina Percy
Katrina Percy

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A NHS Trust has been slammed by families and ex-colleagues after it was revealed that the much-criticised chief executive of the beleagured Trust will keep her job.

Southern Health’s Katrina Percy is to remain in her role despite intense pressure in recent months after it was revealed that the trust had failed to investigate the deaths of hundreds of patients.

Interim chairman Tim Smart said in a statement today: ‘I can confirm that Katrina Percy will continue in this role.

‘However, until now she has been too operationally focused in her role.

‘She will shift her focus to the delivery of the future strategy of the Trust which I believe needs to be accelerated.’

During the statement, Mr Smart extended his ‘deepest apologies’ to the individuals and families of those who had been ‘deeply affected’ by the ongoing scandal.

Mr Smart, who was appointed as interim chairman last month following Mike Petter’s resignation, has undertaken a comprenhensive review of the issues at the Trust.

He added: ‘I was appointed to make an objective assessment of the reasons behind the failings at Southern Health and the best way forward for the trust, its patients and its staff.

‘I am confident that we are making progress and I know that our staff are doing everything they can to deliver high quality care.’

Mark Aspinall, who resigned at the end of April as a governor of Southern Health said ‘there can be no trust in the Trust’ following the announcement.

He said: ‘Today we have seen that the review is over and that he [Tim Smart] feels no changes are needed to people.

‘I am sorry but that isn’t alright enough.

‘Something is rotten at Southern Health. There is a pervasive culture of weak but bullying leadership.

‘There is a failure of leadership, a failure of oversight and a total lack of heart and compassion.

‘Calling it a Trust is a lexicographic joke.’

A statement from Justice for LB, who represent the relatives of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk, who had died in a bathtub during an epileptic seizure in the care of a unit in Oxford run by the Trust said:

‘We are extremely shocked that those who have sat in judgement on this matter would allow Katrina Percy to continue in her role as chief executive.

‘We believe it reflects badly on them and their judgement.

‘Sometimes in life it is difficult to understand why certain courses of action are taken or not taken.

‘We cannot understand why this incredulous decision has been made to allow Katrina Percy to remain in her post.’