Southern Health appoints new chief after board resigns
An NHS trust criticised for failing to properly investigate hundreds of deaths has appointed a new chairwoman.
In March the entire board of directors at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust resigned after a review of its services.
Lynne Hunt will now take over as chairwoman of the trust on 3 July.
Previous interim chairman Tim Smart stood down after he was criticised for creating a new job for Ms Percy.
The trust is now being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive over Connor’s death in 2014.
Ms Hunt was previously vice-chair at Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and was described as having “a track record of almost 40 years public service”.
She said: “With this new leadership and a board of newly appointed non-executive directors we can influence and develop a culture of change and improvement.”
Southern Health provides mental health services to patients across Hampshire, Dorset, and Oxfordshire.
Southern Health Timeline
July 2013 – Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, drowns after an epileptic seizure at Oxford unit Slade House. An inquest later rules neglect contributed to his death
11 December 2015 – The BBC reveals details of a leaked Mazars report which highlights a “failure of leadership”. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he is “profoundly shocked”
17 December 2015 – The report is officially published and shows out of 722 unexpected deaths over four years, only 272 were properly investigated
6 April 2016 – The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issues a warning notice to significantly improve protection for mental health patients
29 April 2016 – A full CQC inspection report is published which says the trust is continuing to put patients at risk
30 June 2016 – Following a review of the management team competencies, it is announced that Katrina Percy is to keep her job
29 July 2016 – The BBC reveals the trust paid millions of pounds in contracts to companies owned by previous associates of Ms Percy
30 August 2016 – Ms Percy announces she is standing down as chief executive, but is staying on in an advisory role
19 September 2016 – Interim chairman Tim Smart resigns after admitting he created a job for Ms Percy
7 October 2016 – Ms Percy resigns completely from the trust
13 December 2016 – A CQC report, the culmination of a one-year inquiry, says investigations into patient deaths are inadequate
16 March 2017 – All the non-executive directors resign from trust