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NHS confirms appointment of Southern Health Chair

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.

Credit: King's College University

The people that rely on our services and their families will be at the heart of everything we do. Two of my immediate priorities are to make sure that the quality and safety of our services improve and to make sure the Board functions more effectively

– Tim Smart, Interim Chair at Southern Health

Tim Smart has previously worked as Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for 7 years.

Police investigate 'malicious' phone call to bereaved mother

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."


"I felt horrified" - mother of Connor Sparrowhawk responds to abusive voicemail

Dr Ryan's son Connor Sparrowhawk drowned while under the care of Southern Health

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:

I felt quite sick, I felt horrified and couldn't believe what I was hearing. We posted it online and the response we've had has been immediate. People are disgusted by it and shocked by the whole thing

– Dr Sara Ryan

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.

Watch our special feature on damning report into Southern Health

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:


Southern Health's Chief Executive's response to critics

ITV Meridian spent the day trying to talk to the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust's Chief Executive, Katrina Percy, about the CQC's damning report into some of its care of people under its protection.

No interview was granted, but Katrina Percy did issue a statement about the health watchdog's findings. ITV Meridian presenters Fred Dinenage and Stacey Poole spoke to reporter Richard Slee.

Fred interviews CQC about its report that criticises Southern Health's leadership

ITV Meridian presenter Fred Dinenage interviewed Karen Bennett-Wilson from the Care Quality Commission about its report into the failings of the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The interview with the CQC was followed by reaction from the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP.

Although the CQC report was critical of Southern Health's leadership, neither official would be drawn on whether the organisation's Chief Executive, Katrina Percy, should step down from her post.

Southern Health 'still not doing enough to protect people in its care'

A damning report has highlighted how the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust failed its patients and is still not doing enough to protect them.

Concerns were originally raised two years ago, about the organisation, which cares for people with mental health and learning disabilities across much of the South. The concerns were prompted by the death of Conor Sparrowhawk in Oxford, he drowned in the bath after having a seizure - he was not being supervised.

The Care Quality Commission report, released today highlights that most of the failings are down to poor leadership, but tonight the head of Southern Health - Katrina Percy is still in the job. The first person Rachel Hepworth speaks to in her report is Sara Ryan, Connor's mother.

Governor explains why he quit Southern Health

A governor at a scandal-hit NHS trust where a teenager drowned in a bath resigned on Friday because his council has achieved "nothing at all".

In his resignation letter Mark Aspinall, a governor at Southern Health, accused colleagues of being "apathetic" and "intransigent", and said the Trust's council was "weak or unable to act".

He has spoken to ITV News Meridian about why he has stepped down and how the Trust have got it so wrong.

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