Following the independent ‘Mazars report into a number of serious failings in the way the trust investigated the deaths of vulnerable patients, we took action in 2016 requiring the trust to implement all recommendations in the report.
While more can always be done to constantly improve services for patients and their families, an independent audit of the trust’s progress to implement the recommendations found real progress in the way the trust investigates and reports patient deaths and involves family members in this process. It also found a culture of increased openness and transparency. The review by Niche Health and Social Care Consulting and Grant Thornton LLP during 2017 concluded that the trust had made significant improvements in all of the areas that were recommended in the Mazars report.
The trust has made further positive changes that provide additional confidence that the time is right to lift some of the regulatory requirements in place. The board of the trust has greater clinical representation and involves more mental health expertise than before ensuring that patient care is at the centre of every decision.
The historic failings at the trust are well documented and it is right that the trust has been held to account for them. However, this is encouraging progress which represents improvements in services for local patients and should also be recognised.
‘Southern Health continues to be subject to regulatory action from NHS Improvement to ensure they maintain momentum in their work and provide the highest standards of care expected of all NHS trusts.
‘We will continue to work with the new leadership team at the trust to drive improvement, deliver for local patients and build the confidence of the local community.’
Anne Eden, Executive Regional Managing Director (South East), NHS Improvement and NHS England