Southern Health ‘need time’ according to MP

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An MP has declared that a failing mental health trust ‘must be given time’ to resolve its issues.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes hosted a 90-minute Parliamentary debate into Southern Health NHS Trust last Wednesday after it was found to have made serious blunders that have left families reeling from the consequences.

Following the ‘successful’ debate, she says that after meeting with the Trust’s new interim chairman Tim Smart on Tuesday, she believes that he and Southern Health need to be given time to resolve the issues facing the beleaguered trust.

Miss Fernandes said: ‘I think we have got to give the new chairman time to put things right.

‘We have to be very careful with how we proceed to look at the Trust as we do not want this to descend into continuous scare-mongering.’

The MP’s comments come as Hampshire Constabulary confirmed on Friday that it is investigating whether the trust provided ‘false or misleading information’

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We can confirm we have received a complaint against Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust relating to an allegation of providing false or misleading information contrary to section 92 of the Care Act 2014.

‘This complaint will now be assessed and investigated.

In addition to this, the Trust is also facing a Health and Safety Executive probe into 89 patient deaths that were not previously examined.

The Trust was recently inspected by the Care Quality Commission where inspectors found that the Trust had not put robust governance arrangements in place to investigate deaths of patients with mental health problems and learning difficulties.

In her opening speech at last Wednesday’s debate, Miss Fernandes referred to Richard West, from Fareham, whose son David died in 2013 in the care of the trust.

She explained that Mr West had been seeking answers ever since and that he had been ignored by the Trust.

Havant MP Alan Mak also spoke at the debate.

He said: ‘The trust has got a new leadership structure that have accepted the recommendations It’s now time to move from apologies to action.’