It appears that Jeremy Hunt has ‘dropped the ball’ on Southern Health since Alistair Burt resigned.
There have been some amazing stories lately of greed and failure but perhaps the most alarming news is the implications of a letter from the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to a Member of Parliament about one of his constituents, who feels seriously mistreated by Southern Health in recent months.
To extend the sporting analogy, he is clearly ‘not up to speed’ on developments (or lack of them) at the Southern Health. I note Smart has assured Mr Hunt, “Of his commitment to the highest standards of governance and transparency.” Anyone involved in or with knowledge of Southern Health would find this laughable if not so serious. He does not know the meaning of transparency. Read more here →
One wonders also if Mr Hunt is aware of Not-so Smart’s record of success [?] as Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, from where he resigned in 2015 without returning from sick leave, leaving an allegedly struggling Trust with a £42.5m deficit; issues with A & E waiting time targets; and concerns that patients were waiting too long for elective treatments. Subsequently, Monitor took regulatory action. Read more about the difficulties at King’s here →
Then read ‘The Daily Telegraph’ here for the resultant cost to taxpayers – in salaries alone!
And it is not as if Jeremy Hunt cares about learning the truth: in responding to a challenge to his views a Department of Health spokesman wrote:
“The advice I received from senior officials in the Department is clear, any information you or anyone else has about Southern Health should be passed to the Regional Director for NHS Improvement. The advice was clear that the Department does not have a role of commenting on or second guessing decisions made by NHS Improvement.”
In short, Monitor [NHS Un-improvement] appoints as Interim Chairman of Southern Health a person, who it knows has a history of failings, to turnaround another NHS Trust with even more serious failings and the Department of Health turns a blind eye.