Despite attempts to silence me as an opposition councillor by the Labour councillors running Southampton City Council, I have taken action to investigate the failings at Southern Health described by the Mazars report commissioned by NHS England.
I have joined the Justice for LB campaign, who have responded by supporting my actions to instigate changes at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, including requesting a deeper investigation to be instigated by the Council of Governors and Trust Board. This was last week, as follows:
I also urge you to write to the Council of Governors with something similar. They can be emailed at email@example.com. Unlike other Foundation Trusts, you cannot email them directly (I have checked). I have also:Good Evening,I request that the Council of Governors works with directors and the relevant Nominations and Appointments committees to conduct an investigation as to how and why the draft minutes of the 1st December 2015 Trust Board stated that the Performance Director responded that there were "no major concerns" when challenged by a Non-Executive Director on SIRIs, as quoted below.I would also appreciate a statement from the Trust as to whether the Chief Executive, the Trust Board and Council of Governors supports the view minuted.As this issue is now of national importance, and has drawn the attention of the Health Secretary and Parliament, I and the residents, patients, carers and families of Southampton would appreciate an urgent response, preferably by the end of this week.Kind regards,Andrew Pope8.15. Jon Allen, Non-Executive Director, enquired as to whether there were any Serious Incidents Requiring Investigation (SIRIs) that should be brought to the Board’s attention. Chris Gordon confirmed that there were currently no major concerns but that the SIRIs reported still required to be fully investigated. Della Warren referred to paragraph 27.5 which indicated an increase in the number of falls and suggested that this be the subject of a ‘deep dive’ by the Quality & Safety Committee. Sandra Grant noted that the Service Performance & Transformation Committee had noted the increased number of falls and sought assurance as to whether this was linked to staffing levels. She assured members that this was regularly reviewed by the Director of Nursing & Allied Health Professionals and reported to the Quality & Safety Committee.
- Sent a series of questions about Southern Health to the Chair of the Southampton Local Safeguarding Adults Board (at the time of writing I have had no response)
- Studied a wide range of documents from Southern Health, in which some of the claims made are hard to believe
- Written to my MP Alan Whitehead requesting support for the campaign (at the time of writing I have had no response)
- Referred back to the research I conducted in 2009-10 on the governance of NHS foundation trusts. The weaknesses of these structures, and those working in them, do not seem to have improved. As many people have found, it can all come down to individuals. More details on the research are here.
- Spoken with the BBC, who wished to interview me, but scheduling concerns changed their priorities
- Read the appalling media releases sent out by Southern Health in response to both the leaked report and the final version of the Mazars report
Please note that I have NOT called for the resignation of anybody, although this is tempting considering the continual failures documented in the report, especially when the coroner complained to the Trust time and again over a protracted period.
We have heard a lot of claims of being "sorry" by the Trust.
We have heard a lot of claims of lessons being learned.
But we now need an investigation into how this happened, and who was individually and collectively responsible for acting, and not acting.
Then action can be taken against those who have failed the patients, carers and families of so many people in the care of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.