Southern Health appoints new chairman to carry out review

New interim chairman Alan Yates Image copyright Southern Health
Image caption New interim chairman Alan Yates has been appointed for four months

An NHS trust criticised for failing to properly investigate hundreds of deaths has appointed an interim chairman to review its services.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust came under fire following the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, who drowned in a bath at Slade House in Oxford.

Its boss Katrina Percy resigned last month after public pressure.

Previous interim chairman Tim Smart also stood down after he was criticised for creating a new job for Ms Percy.

Now Alan Yates, who is currently the trust's Improvement Director, has been appointed as his successor.

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Media captionTim Smart said no other candidates were considered for the post

Anne Eden, executive regional managing director for the south at NHS Improvement, said he would lead a review into how the trust delivers services.

"The trust has some excellent staff working hard to improve services for patients," she said.

"We want to work with them, plus those who use the services and their families, to help design their future."

She added that Mr Yates has more than 35 years managerial experience within the NHS and has been chief executive of three different trusts.

The review is due to conclude early next year and a spokesperson said it could result in a "transformation" of the trust.

Image caption Former chief executive Katrina Percy came under intense pressure to resign

Southern Health Timeline

July 2013 - Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, drowns after an epileptic seizure at Oxford unit Slade House. An inquest later rules neglect contributed to his death

11 December 2015 - The BBC reveals details of a leaked Mazars report which highlights a "failure of leadership". Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he is "profoundly shocked"

17 December 2015 - The report is officially published and shows out of 722 unexpected deaths over four years, only 272 were properly investigated

6 April 2016 - The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issues a warning notice to significantly improve protection for mental health patients

29 April 2016 - A full CQC inspection report is published, which says the trust is continuing to put patients at risk

30 June 2016 - Following a review of the management team competencies, it is announced that Katrina Percy is to keep her job

29 July 2016 - The BBC reveals the trust paid millions of pounds in contracts to companies owned by previous associates of Ms Percy

30 August 2016 - Ms Percy announces she is standing down as chief executive, but is staying on in an advisory role

19 September 2016 - Interim chairman Tim Smart resigns after admitting he created a job for Ms Percy

7 October 2016 - Ms Percy resigns completely from the trust

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