Salary Scandal Surrounds Southern Health Resignation

The decision of an NHS trust to effectively move a highly criticised boss sideways into a similarly salaried role has been strongly criticised.

Chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Katrina Percy, resigned on Tuesday following pressure over the way the trust had investigated certain patient deaths.

Yet despite this decision, Percy has moved on to a new role, while her six-figure salary has been retained.

The annual report of the trust indicates that Percy is paid between £180,000 and £190,000, prompting massive criticism considering the financial difficulties which the NHS undoubtedly faces.

Already many prominent healthcare individuals have come forward in order to criticise this decision.

Percy had resigned following an inquiry commission by NHS England, which discovered that over one-third of the 722 deaths over the last four years at the trust were dealt with appropriately.

The trust has already accepted responsibility for the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, who drowned in a bath at Slade House in Oxford; a tragedy which has become prominent in the media.

Southern Health admitted that it had been liable for the death of Connor, with the child having the horrifying experience of suffering an epileptic seizure shortly before passing away, back in July 2013.

£80,000 compensation had been offered by the trust to the family of the deceased child, but his mother, Sara, was adamant that the decision regarding Percy is completely unacceptable.

“This is public money that is paying for this ridiculously over-inflated salary. She failed as a chief executive. How she could possibly keep the same salary?”

Gail Hanrahan, from the Oxfordshire Family Support Network, Believed that local people are very angry about what she termed to be a betrayal.

“It’s typical NHS culture, just shifting the deck chairs. There seems to be no consequences for her after years of documented failure… nothing surprises me anymore with what the trust do. They seem to go against everything that makes sense to everybody. It makes you wonder what you have to do to get sacked from a high powered NHS job”.

Rob Greig, the former Department of Health director for learning disabilities, Also asserted that the large salary being received by Percy was completely inappropriate for her new position, which is effectively an advisory role.

“Any reputable job evaluation process would not conclude that those two jobs merited the same salary. The trust’s chairman Tim Smart described the job as an “alternative role working with local GP leaders providing strategic advice on the transformation of local health services. There is vital work that needs to be done for which she is ideally suited”.

 

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