Minutes or Seconds?

Another of Southern Health’s cunning stunts was uncovered last week – censoring abridging Meeting Minutes to deflect the truth. It is more accurate to refer to the Minutes as Seconds!

As examples, we refer to questions/statements from the public at July’s Board Meeting and the answers provided … or not as the case may be! 


Read one of the statements and questions here: it filled three A4 pages.

By the time it appeared in the draft Minutes, Southern Health had reduced it (and the non-answer) to just six lines of A4:

“[Redacted] presented the Interim Chair with a number of questions, highlighting in particular the cancellation of the extraordinary Council of Governors meeting scheduled for 17.072016, the Interim Chair’s findings report published on 30.06.2016 and a letter he had received from the Interim Chair on 23.06.16. The Interim Chair advised that he would consider how best to respond to the questions put forward….”

The allegations of bullying against the Interim Chair; his failure to meet bereaved families and others as part of the Board Capability Review; and the evidence of Katrina Percy colluding with Deloitte to mislead the Department of Health and Southampton CCG etc.?

Consigned to the bin! And to complete the story, the Interim Chair decided the best response was no response at all!

Another question was:

“What, specifically, is the Trust going to do to address the thousands of unexpected deaths that occurred between 2011 and 2015 that were not investigated, and those unexpected deaths that were inadequately investigated – such as the death of [redacted]?

“The Trust, have a duty to ensure that the deaths of individuals like [redacted] are investigated properly- that has not happened. Those unexpected deaths haven’t gone away either – and they won’t go away. What is the Trust actually doing to address the fact that these unexpected deaths still remain un-investigated? “

The public gasped in disbelief when Dr Gordon stated that there were only nine unexpected deaths in that category. But the draft minutes record:

“[Redacted] member of the public, presented a question on behalf of [redacted] concerning what the Trust was doing to investigate the unexpected deaths between 2012 and 2015, and deaths that were not investigated. Chris Gordon advised in response that the Trust had taken all the necessary action required of it in this category.”

No mention of, “Nine” – how very convenient!

It transpired that such reduction of Seconds Minutes is not knew. Not only is it misleading but also it conceals hides vital records, which in the future could be invaluable in holding Directors to account in the future.

There’s no better example than the Minutes of a meeting, at which governors gave serious risk warnings before the takeover of Ridgeway. From 2011, a governor describes issues being raised as:

“Routinely watered down or eliminated from the minutes.”

At a 2012 meeting, two governors took Katrina Percy to task over the proposed acquisition of Ridgeway. One has commented:

“I spent a few minutes probing the risks and enquiring about due diligence in some detail. I also pointed out that acquisitions very often fail because of IT or cultural differences, or simply because they are too big and too difficult to integrate. I had the usual KP gloss and fluff reassurance that they had a great team doing the integration and a detailed plan. What was amusing is she came over to me when the meeting had finished and said how much she enjoyed my robust questioning, of course she did.

So they have been slippery for years.

They missed everything I said about due diligence and acquisition problems from Minutes, [expletive deleted].”

In the Minutes, Southern Health reduced all the comments about risk, due diligence, integration and acquisition to:


We wonder: which directors/managers made up, “The dedicated leadership team”; and which members of the Board scrutinised the plans. Freedom of Information Request anyone?

The Minutes record the other question and answer thus:


Preaching quality leadership … and giving Ridgeway the benefit of Going Viral leadership programme – that worked well then! Just search ‘Ridgeway’ here to see how well the dedicated leadership team and Going Viral leadership programme worked.

So ‘adapting’ Minutes to favour and protect Trust directors has been an ongoing practice throughout Katrina Percy’s reign.

Moral: members of the public and governors, who ask questions or make statements, must check draft Minutes diligently – or email the full text in Word to Anna Williams and insist it is cut and pasted verbatim into the Minutes. Also, use every opportunity to challenge the accuracy of Minutes. 


Advice to Southern Health – if you want advice on reputation management look here and kick the censor into touch.

Your victims have long memories. 


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