NHS Improvement to appoint new Southern director


NHS Improvement has exercised its powers to impose management changes at Southern Health.

NHS Improvement, who warned Southern three weeks ago that they may have to make management changes, formally notified the trust on Friday that they intend to appoint Tim Smart, the former CEO of King’s College Hospital FT, as the new Southern chair.

Smart will lead a review into the adequacy of the trust’s current leadership.

Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “It is clear that dramatic change is needed urgently at Southern Health. Our action today in proposing the appointment of Tim Smart – a very experienced NHS leader – at the top of the organisation will speed up this improvement.”

Mike Petter, who resigned as chair, said: “The Trust has recently undergone a significant amount of scrutiny in some service areas and given the challenges it faces I feel it is appropriate for me to allow new Board leadership to take forward the improvements. I have been involved in Southern Health since the Trust was formed in 2011 as a Non-Executive Director and since August 2015 as Chairman. It is with great sadness that I now leave the organisation. I offer my support and best wishes to all our staff whose dedication and commitment I am continuously impressed by.” 

NHS Improvement now have to wait for a response from Southern before formal confirmation of the appointment, which will probably happen next week.


Vulnerable patients are still at risk at Southern Health trust, the latest CQC inspection has found.

The January 2016 inspection, which led to the CQC issuing a warning notice and NHS Improvement threatening to impose management changes at the trust if matters do not improve, found that the trust is still failing to implement recommendations from the Mazars report after it was found that the trust investigated just 13% of the deaths of mental health and learning disability patients.

The report said that the trust’s governance was still failing to properly manage risk.

Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said: “We found that in spite of the best efforts of the staff, the key risks and actions to address them were not driving the senior leadership or board agenda.

“It is clear that the trust had still missed opportunities to learn from adverse incidents and to take action to reduce the chance of similar events happening in the future.”

The trust still has no robust mechanisms in place for investigating and learning from patient deaths, or for responding to concerns about patient safety raised by patients, their carers, staff or the CQC.

For example, although patients failing to attend appointments was identified as cause for concern, there was no robust mechanism for what community healthcare staff should do to report a patient missing an appointment.

The CQC has now announced that it is investigating all acute, community and mental health trusts for how well they learn from patient deaths.

The CQC also found that a number of safety concerns about the trust’s physical environment, such as ligature points at Evenlode, Oxfordshire and Kingsley inpatient wards at Melbury Lodge, had not been addressed despite inspectors raising the issue on three previous occasions.

(Image: Ravenswood House, Fareham. c. Peter Facey)


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Recoup and recover

10/10/2018Recoup and recover

The ease and round-the-clock nature of making cashless payments has transfo... more >
The clinical voice at the heart of procurement

10/10/2018The clinical voice at the heart of procurement

Jo Gander, director of the Clinical and Product Assurance (CaPA) team, talk... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >


Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

On your bike!

17/10/2018On your bike!

Sathish Sethuraman, travel and transport plan co-ordinator at Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT, explains how efforts to promote cycling to work at the trust are resulting in more... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar


October 2018

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4

featured articles

View all News