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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Latest Update from Southern Health to Request for Investigation

Well, the Government and Southern Health may have shut down for Christmas, but campaigners have not!

Before I do have a short break, I wanted to provide this update.

Below is the response from the Company Secretary (my emphasis added), following up my earlier request, and my follow-up that I would expect meetings to be called immediately given the gravity of the situation.

I also asked for the details of the Council of Governors meeting, and said that I want to ask questions of the governors and Trust Board. I also asked permission to record the Governors meeting - this request has been refused by the Chair. Our understanding is that the new regulations that apply to councils and other public bodies, do not apply to NHS foundation trusts.

So I have gone back to them with this:
"I wish for the same questions that I wish to put to the Council of Governors, to be put to the Trust Board.
Regarding recording of the meetings, I am disappointed to hear that the Chair will not allow recording. There are new regulations requiring local authorities plus many other public bodies to allow recording.
Even if this is down to the discretion of the Chair, I would have thought the Chair would want to encourage openness and transparency. But it appears not. To clarify, I only wish to take an audio recording."
Can I please encourage people to attend? Perhaps they are going to need a bigger venue than they are used to!

I understand that Michael Buchanan of the BBC has already indicated he will be attending the Trust Board. I will be inviting other media.

Let me know what you think of the below (either by email, Twitter or posting below).

And if you are having a break, enjoy it and come back refreshed for the campaign.

Best wishes,
Andrew

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Dear Mr Pope,

Thank you for your further email.  With regards the timing of calling extraordinary Board and Council meetings; the report into Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust was released by NHS England on 17 December 2015.  Our governing documents routinely require that we provide five clear working days before each meeting.  As such, and recognising the important topic, it was agreed that it was pragmatic to wait until after the Christmas period to convene these meetings so as to ensure maximum attendance of Directors and Governors at their respective meetings.

Indeed, we are currently ascertaining availability of Governors to attend on 5 Januaryas it is essential that we are able to hold a quorate meeting (the Council is not able to convene to conduct business if this is not so).  We anticipate publishing the details of this meeting (time and venue) on our website by Thursday 24 December and would be happy to email you with this information once agreed.  I note from your email that you also wish to put questions to our Trust Board; there is an extraordinary meeting scheduled for the Trust Board on 11 January 2015 at 08:30.  Again, we are in the process of confirming final arrangements, but can send you this information as well in due course.

In terms of recording the meeting(s), I have discussed this matter with the Chair, who has not agreed to this request.  We will however be happy to send you the formal minutes of the meeting(s) once these have been approved.

If you wish to ask a question of either the Council of Governors, or the Trust Board, I would strongly encourage you to submit this in writing (via governors@southernhealth.nhs.uk or trustboard@southernhealth.nhs.uk).  For information, I have attached guidance from our website that relates to the rights of members of the public to ask questions of the Trust Board.  I have already noted down the previous question relating to the discussion relating to SIRIs that was recorded in the draft minutes of the meeting held on 27 October 2015 considered by the Board on 1 December 2015. 

If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and I will look to respond to these.

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