Southern Health NHS trust appoints new chief executive

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Dr Nick BroughtonImage source, Southern Health
Image caption,
Dr Nick Broughton is the new chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

An NHS trust criticised for not properly investigating the deaths of hundreds of patients has appointed a new chief executive.

Dr Nick Broughton, leader of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, takes up the role at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in November.

Issues at Southern Health came to light after Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, drowned in a bath at an Oxford facility.

Its previous chief executive, Katrina Percy, resigned in October last year.

A report, leaked to the BBC in 2015, showed that of the 722 unexpected deaths at the trust between 2011 and 2015, only 272 were investigated.

It described a "failure of leadership" and said investigations that did take place took too long, were of "poor" quality and when concerns were raised by coroners and others "no effective action was taken".

The trust has also appointed three new non-executive directors since the board of directors quit in March, as well as a director of workforce and chairwoman.

Image source, JusticeforLB
Image caption,
Connor Sparrowhawk died at a Southern Health facility in Oxford

Trust chairwoman Lynne Hunt said: "Nick brings with him an incredibly positive and kind approach which is centred around the patient and in improving the quality of our services.

"The organisation has made strong progress over the past year and with a newly invigorated board in place I feel confident that we can now go from strength to strength."

Dr Broughton said: "My priority will be to ensure the trust provides the best possible care to all those that use its many services and that our patients are at the centre of all we do.

"To do this we will need to work together and build on some of the strong foundations that are already in place."

A Care Quality Commission report in July said the trust was getting better at investigating incidents, but there was still much to do.

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