England

Southern Health boss Katrina Percy was 'already doing' new job

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Katrina Percy
Image caption Katrina Percy's new post did not previously exist, was not advertised and she was the sole candidate

The former head of a troubled NHS trust was already doing the new job created for her on top of her previous post, the trust has confirmed.

Katrina Percy stepped down as head of Southern Health in August over "media attention" after it failed to investigate hundreds of deaths.

It was revealed on Wednesday a new £240,000 a year post was "created for her" and she was the "only applicant".

A spokesman has confirmed she had already been doing the work.

It was "part of her portfolio as chief executive" since March 2015.

The job involves giving strategic advice to GPs "joining-up" with the wider NHS.

The spokesman said the next 12 months would see a "big transition" as projects were commissioned, taking up a "significant amount of time".

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, trust chairman Tim Smart clarified it was a "finite role for a 12-month period".

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Media captionTim Smart said no other candidates were considered for the post

Nigel Watson, a New Forest GP and chief executive of the Wessex Local Medical Committees, said: "It's not actually a new job... her role for the next year will be to do what she has done before, which was to support and help that integration and transformation.

"I don't know how much time she put into it, but we did quite a lot of work in early mornings and late evenings and she was significant in the contribution to get us to the position where we are now."

A trust spokesman said the role was not previously full time, and occupied her to a "lesser degree".

John Green, the former public governor for Southern Health, said: "It would only have been a part-time activity for her.

"I can't imagine why anyone would pay that kind of money to anybody to provide advice.

"It isn't right... [it's about] finding jobs for people that have been loyal to them."

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