Southern Health Boss Quits Over “Media Attention” But Will Get Same Pay In New Role

The chief executive of an NHS trust that has been accused of failing to properly investigate patient deaths has quit over “media attention”.

Katrina Percy, who ran Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust for nine years, resigned on Tuesday but will move to a new advisory role on the same salary of between £180,000 and £190,000 a year.

She had faced mounting calls to quit after the Care Quality Commission watchdog found the trust had failed to respond to concerns about patient safety.

The scathing report in April also said the trust had failed to adopt safe bathing guidelines for two and a half years after the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, the 18-year-old who drowned in a bath at Slade House, Oxfordshire, in 2013.

In a statement, Percy said: “I have reflected on the effect the ongoing personal media attention has had on staff and patients and have come to the conclusion that this has made my role untenable.

“I have therefore come to the difficult decision to step down from my role as chief executive after nine years.”

She said she was “delighted to be taking on an alternative role, providing strategic advice to local GP leaders”.

Southern Health confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Percy would remain on the same salary in her new role, which is between £180,000 and £190,000. Last year she also received at least £52,500 in pension-related benefits, according to the Press Association.

Percy added: “I know, and understand, that many will say I should have stepped down sooner given the very public concerns which have been raised in the past months.

“I stayed on as I firmly believed it was my responsibility to oversee the necessary improvements and to continue the groundbreaking work we have begun with GPs to transform care for our patients.”

Southern Health provides community health, mental health and learning disability services across the south of England.

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