England

Southern Health NHS Trust boss Katrina Percy's new role causes anger

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Katrina Percy
Image caption Ms Percy's salary is between £180,000 and £190,000

An NHS trust's decision to move its boss to a new role with the same salary is a "scandal", according to the mother of a teenager who died under its watch.

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

Ms Percy's salary is quoted in the trust's annual report as between £180,000 and £190,000.

Sara Ryan said: "It is a scandal... it doesn't happen in the real world."

An NHS England-commissioned probe found 272 of the 722 deaths over the last four years at the trust were dealt with properly.

In June, the trust accepted responsibility for the death of Ms Ryan's 18-year-old son Connor Sparrowhawk, who drowned in a bath at Slade House in Oxford.

Southern admitted it caused the death of Connor, who had suffered an epileptic seizure before he died in July 2013, and offered his family £80,000 compensation.

'Years of failure'

Talking about Ms Percy's new job, Ms Ryan said: "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?"

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Media captionSara Ryan says Ms Percy should have stepped down earlier

Gail Hanrahan, from the Oxfordshire Family Support Network, said people were "really angry".

She added: "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, said the salary was not appropriate for 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," he said.

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