- 22 updates
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
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
Southern Health has appointed Tim Smart as Interim Chair after regulatory action taken by NHS Improvement in response to serious concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission.
Tim Smart will carry out a review of the capacity and capability of the trust's current board.
NHS Improvement say they will work closely with the new Interim Chair, who takes up his post. They are also deciding whether to take further regulatory action against Southern Health.
Tim Smart has previously worked as Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for 7 years.
Thames Valley Police have confirmed they are launching an investigation into an abusive voicemail received by Dr Sara Ryan.
A spokeswoman said the message, allegedly sent by an employee of Southern Health, "has now been recorded as a report of a malicious communication and is currently under investigation."
The mother of Connor Sparrowhawk says she felt horrified by an abusive voicemail, allegedly sent by an employee of Southern Health.
Dr Sara Ryan only heard the message yesterday when she noticed a voicemail had been left on her work phone.
She told ITV Meridian:
Listen to a recording of the voicemail below:
Connor Sparrowhawk drowned while under the care of Southern Health. The NHS Trust has been criticised by NHS England and the Care Quality Commission for failing to investigate hundreds of unexpected deaths.
The Care Quality Commission has issued a damning report following an inspection of the way the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust looks after the people in its care.
The organisation has come under increased scrutiny following the revelation that there were failings in the way that it reported and investigated hundreds of unexpected deaths, particularly of people using its mental health and learning disability services.
The chief executive of the trust, Katrina Percy, has refused to step down, despite criticism about Southern Health's leadership.
You can watch our full special report on the Care Quality Commission's report into Southern Health NHS Trust below:
Latest ITV News reports
The chief executive of under-fire Southern Health trust will keep her job, despite widespread criticism over unexplained deaths.
The future of Southern Health NHS Trust chief executive Katrina Percy is under scrutiny as part of a review by the interim chair.