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Katrina Percy keeps job as chief executive of Southern Health

Katrina Percy will remain in her job as chief executive despite calls for her to step down Photo: ITV Meridian

The chief executive of under-fire Southern Health NHS Trust, Katrina Percy, will keep her job despite widespread criticism and calls for her removal.

The Trust has been condemned for failing to properly investigate around 1,000 unexplained deaths.

Tim Smart, Interim Chair of Southern Health, has announced in a report that Miss Percy will not be removed from her role, but admitted that the executive team "has been too stretched to guarantee high quality services everywhere that Southern Health operates".

"I know there is interest in the Chief Executive of the organisation and 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 delivery of the future strategy of the Trust which I believe needs to be accelerated."

– Tim Smart, Interim Chair of Southern Health
Tim Smart admitted there have been failings in the leadership of Southern Health

Concerns about the Trust were first raised after the death of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk, who drowned in a bath at a care home in Oxford in 2013. An inquest found neglect contributed his death.

His step father, Richard West was one of a number of parents who attended a meeting with Tim Smart this morning to discuss the review. In a statement, he criticised the decision to keep Katrina Percy as chief executive of the trust, calling it "unjust".

Connor Sparrowhawk drowned while at a care home in Oxford

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.

It is beyond belief given the clear evidence available and a long succession of failures that have come to light.

We have not given up and we are not going to go away. Instead we have been energised by this unjust decision to continue our fight for the people that now have no voice.

– Statement from the family of Connor Sparrowhawk

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