England

Southern Health: 'Urgent action' needed

Connor Sparrowhawk Image copyright JusticeforLB
Image caption Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, who died at Slade House, had epilepsy and experienced seizures

An MP has called for urgent action after a Care Quality Commission report concluded an NHS mental health trust is "continuing to put patients at risk".

Southern Health failed to adopt safe bathing guidelines for two-and-a-half years after Connor Sparrowhawk died following an epileptic seizure in 2013.

His unsupervised death led to a report into hundreds of unexplained deaths.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said after "two damning reports, serious changes in the leadership are now needed".

In response to an urgent question in the House of Commons, Health Minister Alistair Burt MP said "a balance between continuity and stability" was needed to "ensure that what the Trust has promised is actually delivered".

He acknowledged that since last year nine changes had been made to the Board.

Image caption Mike Petter said he was leaving the trust "with great sadness"

Trust chairman Mike Petter resigned on Thursday ahead of the publication of the CQC's report.

He said he was stepping down "to allow new board leadership to take forward the improvements".

Mr Burt told MPs: "NHS Improvement has the powers to alter governance, and I know from speaking to them they take that power and responsibility extremely seriously."

The trust provides mental health services to patients in Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

A fuller Parliamentary debate is due to be held in the coming weeks to discuss the trust's governance and failures in care.

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