Honest John

Sara Ryan is not alone in receiving inappropriate communications from Sloven (as she – more aptly refers to Southern Health. Click here for one of many.

Trevor Spires - Smiling1


Below is a reply to another complainant – from a NED.

Trevor “Honest John” Spires



The presentation of the letter speaks for itself – no respect for patients!

Spires2016-05-09 001

  • Plain A4 – not Southern Health notepaper.
  • Unsigned.

Yes, he sent it by email but this doesn’t prevent use of headed paper or a signature. He ignored a request to remedy this. Comment:

  1. It was a response to a letter, in which the author fully argued his case and provided evidence – some of which is now on this web site.
  2. He avoids incontrovertible points, in his words,   “I do not intend to individual points made in your letter or the accompanying papers.”
  3. Spires is Chairman of the Nursing and Midwifery Council Tribunal, which he does not declare – in his declaration of interests or his profile on Southern Health’s web site.
  4. Southern Health’s victim would not apologise for calling the Trust corrupt, it being his honestly held belief.
  5. Arrogance – Spires even thinks the victim would allow him to review his case.
  6. The vexatious complaints policy – Southern Health doesn’t have one!
  7. MOST IMPORTANTLY – he is wilfully blind to further evidence against Executive Directors – refusing to read it if received by any route.
  8. Spires declares in his Southern Health profile that he is Chairman of the Rural Payments Agency – another public body allegedly suppressing a critical report and later severely criticised by the National Audit Office – both in 2015. 

The National Audit Office Report says of the Rural Payments Agency, inter alia:

  • Poor and dysfunctional leadership.
  • “Inappropriate behaviour” among senior leadership.
  • Ineffective risk management.
  • Officials “felt inhibited from raising their concerns … for fear of being seen as “not on board”

Sound familiar? Cannot find reference to the Chief Executive leaving the Agency either.

In fairness, his penultimate paragraph is correct.

As a NED, Rear Admiral ‘Hello Sailor’ Spires has (metaphorically) been in bed with Katrina Percy since Southern Health’s formation and prior to that in the Trust’s old name.

Ipso facto, it is reasonable to argue that the failure in leadership and governance identified by Mazars reflects equally his failure to fulfil the role of NEDs in holding executive directors to account. As (he claims) an honourable NED, who has been around that long, he should have resigned already.

The Council of Governors should fire him.

What is it about retired military officers (Andrew Joy was one too)?   



They spend their entire military careers kowtowing to more senior ranks but leading and (when necessary) disciplining their men.

They become civilians and the reverse applies: they appear to kowtow and fail (when necessary) to discipline those they should hold to account – but fail to act in the interests of those they purport to represent: the Trust, its stakeholders and the wider community. 

Read more about the role of a NED: click here


3 thoughts on “Honest John

  1. Pingback: Cunning stunts | Campaign for Reform At Southern Health

  2. Pingback: Spinning heads | Campaign for Reform At Southern Health

  3. Pingback: Value for money? | Campaign for Reform At Southern Health

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