NHS trust is making ‘significant improvements’, report has found

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NHS Improvement has lifted some of the regulatory undertakings placed on Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, after an independent review highlighted progress in a number of areas.

Following the independent Mazars report into a number of serious failings in the way the trust investigated the deaths of vulnerable patients, NHS Improvement took action in 2016 requiring it to implement a number of recommendations.

An independent audit of the trust found real progress in the way it investigates and reports patient deaths, and involves family members in the process.

The trust was fined £2m for the deaths of Connor Sparrowhawk and Teresa Colvin in March after admitting ‘systemic failures’ and pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws. The Mazars report found the organisation did not investigate the deaths of more than 1,000 mental health and learning disability patients properly.

The review by Niche Health and Social Care Consulting and Grant Thornton LLP during 2017 concluded Southern Health had made significant improvements in all of the areas that were recommended in the Mazars report.

Dr Nick Broughton, chief executive, said: ‘The audit findings published at the beginning of the year were very encouraging.

‘NHS Improvement’s actions reinforce these findings and demonstrate we are making genuine progress in changing the culture to one that continuously improves and learns.’