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Southern Health fined £125,000 for care failings

Southern Health has been sentenced over care failings Credit: ITV Meridian

Southern Health has been fined £125,000 for failing to provide safe care and treatment to patients.

The NHS Trust previously pleaded guilty in connection with safety concerns at Melbury Lodge in Winchester - where a patient fell from a rooftop, suffering serious neck injuries. It's the first time the Care Quality Commission has launched a prosecution against a Trust.

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MP hopes Percy resignation 'restores public trust' in Southern Health

The MP for Fareham, Suella Fernandes, has been following events at the Southern Health Trust on behalf of her constituents in Hampshire.

The politician raised her concerns about the organisation in the House of Commons earlier this year. ITV Meridian presenter Sangeeta Bhabra asked the MP about her reaction to the resignation of Southern Health's Chief Executive Katrina Percy.

A timeline of events at the Southern Health NHS Trust

ITV Meridian's Andrew Pate takes a look at the events that led up to the resignation of Katrina's Percy, the former Chief Executive of the Southern Health NHS Trust.

Take a look at our report on the reaction to the resignation from people including the mother of Connor Sparrowhawk, a young man who died while under the care of the Southern Health NHS Trust in Oxfordshire. The organisation was criticised for the way it dealt with the unexpected deaths of hundreds of vulnerable people in its care.

Connor Sparrowhawk's mother 'Bit shocked, bit relieved, bit outraged' after Southern Health boss quits

Katrina Percy has resigned from her role as the head of the Southern Health NHS Trust

The Chief Executive of the Southern Health NHS Trust has given in to pressure and resigned from her post.

Katrina Percy was criticised for her lack of leadership at the trust which failed to properly investigate the unexpected deaths of hundreds of vulnerable patients in its care.

It has taken more than a year of repeated calls for her to go - from MPs, to charities and Southern Health governors themselves. But she will not leave empty-handed, she'll move to another role in the same health trust, and keep her salary of more than £180,000.

Connor Sparrowhawk died at one of the trust's sites, Slade House, in 2013

Today, the mother of Connor Sparrowhawk - a young man from Oxfordshire who died whilst in Southern Health's care - gave her reaction. Kate Bunkall has our report.

Southern Health boss steps down

Credit: Southern health

The boss of Southern Health NHS, Katrina Percy, has announced she will step down this morning.

In a statement released by the Trust, she confirmed her resignation following a review into the organisation.

“On 30 June, Tim Smart announced the outcome of his review into Southern Health.

I was pleased to have his endorsement and support to carry on in my role as Chief Executive and I have been humbled by the overwhelming support from staff and other colleagues.

"Since then I have reflected on the effect the ongoing personal media attention has had on staff and patients and have come to the conclusion that this has made my role untenable.

I have therefore come to the difficult decision to step down from my role as Chief Executive after nine years.

I am delighted to be taking on an alternative role, providing strategic advice to local GP leaders as they work with others to transform the way in which health services are delivered across Hampshire, and I feel that now is the right time to take on that new challenge.

I know, and understand, that many will say I should have stepped down sooner given the very public concerns which have been raised in the past months.

I stayed on as I firmly believed it was my responsibility to oversee the necessary improvements and to continue the ground breaking work we have begun with GPs to transform care for our patients.

I would like to thank all of our staff for their unstinting daily support and dedication to delivering the best possible care for all those we look after. I wish everyone at the Trust, and everyone who has supported it, especially over the past year, all the best.”

– Katrina Percy

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Defiant governors break ranks with leadership at Southern Health

There's been more trouble at under fire Southern Health Trust, as the rift between senior staff grows wider.

Rebel governors went ahead with a meeting critical of the leadership , despite it being cancelled by the Trust management.

It was originally convened to propose a vote of no confidence in Chief Executive Katrina Percy, but instead a small group of governors took questions from the public.

Just three of the 18 governors attended, after the interim chairman Tim Smith called for the meeting to be delayed. Mr Smith said it was because any decision could be open to legal challenge.

The Trust - which covers Hampshire and Dorset - has been criticised for failing to properly investigate the unexpected deaths of around 1,000 people since 2011.

Watch Richard Slee's report below:

Richard spoke to Peter Bell (Governor) and Tim Smart (Chairman) from Southern Health Trust

Southern Health governor slams bosses for 'frustrating their efforts' to address problems

Credit: ITV

A Governor of Southern Health says he feels as if he's banging his head against a brick wall, after the Trust postponed a meeting at which a vote of no confidence in the executive board was expected.

Chair of the board of Governors Peter Bell had previously been highly critical of senior board members at the troubled Trust, and has called for greater transparency in tackling some of the issues raised in a damning report by the Care Quality Commission.

Peter Bell has launched a scathing attack on Southern Health Credit: Linked In

On Friday he called for a vote of no confidence in senior staff, including Chief Executive Katrina Percy, and tabled a motion to be discussed at an Extraordinary Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday May 17th.

But on Saturday the interim Chairman of Southern Health, Tim Smart, who was appointed less than two weeks ago, said he could not allow the meeting to go ahead, for legal reasons.

In a statement, he said that after taking advice from NHS Improvement and the Trust's solicitors, he'd taken the difficult decision to postpone the meeting:

Tim Smart was appointed as interim Chair less than two weeks ago Credit: ITV Meridian

"It has been brought to my attention that the resolutions put forward by Governors for discussion at the meeting do not comply with NHSI guidance, and any vote would not be legally robust.

"While I understand there is considerable public interest in these resolutions, the potential of not following the correct process is that any decision made by the Council of Governors next week could have become subject to significant challenge, including judicial review.

"In order to avoid this, the Trust has offered to provide independent legal support to the Governors, in order that their resolutions can be given full consideration at a future public meeting, having been submitted using the correct legal process."

"This is far from ideal but having been appointed to bring change to Southern Health and to lead in developing a proper way forward following all the considerable problems at the Trust, I am determined that what we do everything correctly, whatever the short term difficulties along the way."

– Tim Smart, Interim Chairman of Southern Health

In response, Mr Bell launched a scathing attack on Mr Smart's decision, and issued an ultimatum- giving the Trust one last chance to re-consider, before threatening legal action himself:

"I am beginning to feel like the families who have being pursuing changes at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and appear to have been banging their heads on a brick wall - I am tempted to shout out

'ARE YOU LISTENING?'

This is beginning to look like just another attempt to frustrate the wishes of the Governors who have been trying (some for several years, it seems) to get matters addressed.

If this was not such a serious matter I would be laughing out loud at such tactics. But this is no laughing matter. This is deadly serious and I really hope that the Interim Chair begins to understand just how serious this is.

– Peter Bell, Public Governor

Mr Bell questioned the legal basis of the Trust's decision to postpone the meeting, and has threatened legal action himself if his concerns aren't addressed.

"So Mr Smart - it seems you are not the only one thinking about Judicial Review.

I have warned you that I am prepared to seek an injunction to force you to act correctly.

Do we really need to resort to the Courts in the first 2 weeks of your appointment?"

You can read Mr Bell's full response here.

The death of Connor Sparrowhawk sparked a huge inquiry into Southern Health Credit: ITV

Southern Health - which cares for vulnerable people in Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Dorset - was slammed by the Care Quality Commission for not doing enough to protect patients. It also pointed to bad leadership and a lack of connection between management and staff.

One patient - Connor Sparrowhawk - who was 18 - and had epilepsy - drowned in a bath in 2013 at a Southern Health unit. The Trust agreed his death could have been prevented.

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