We welcome the appointment of Lynne Hunt as substantive Chairman of Southern Health, effective 3 July 2017.
Most recently, Lynne was Non-Executive Director and Vice Chair of Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, a Trust that has undergone its own transformation over the last four years. Lynne’s empathy, humanity and belief in customer inclusion impressed Governors and members of the public present at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Governors (“CoG”) on 5 July.
The CoG approved the appointment of three Non-Executive Directors with impressive backgrounds, completing a clear-out of the ‘old-guard.’ Note to self: update ‘About‘ page (now completely out of date) and add to ‘Seven up and counting‘ (now up to 10!).
With the appointment of an entirely new Board of Directors, it is evident that Interim Chairman, Alan Yates has established solid foundations for reform at Southern Health. Alan is described by a long-standing critic of Southern Health as:
A new and much more business-like Interim Chairman … started to talk seriously to the families and to current and past governors to find some solutions to the Trust’s problems.
One of Lynne’s priorities now is to translate these solid foundations into real progress: action that demonstrates clearly and unequivocally to the public that the culture of the Trust and its attitude to patient safety is improving. In a Position Statement read to the Board Meeting on 27 June, John Green, former Governor of Southern Health said:
“It would seem that there is still a substantial disconnect between some of the executive directors, senior managers and consultants of this Trust and the NHS top hierarchy and customers, reflected by the fact that they continue to carry on in the same old isolated way. Unlike the approach by Alan Yates…, many continue to treat customer complainants as an enemy … and people to be ignored and avoided.
“Personally, I believe that, without the full involvement of family carers, high
quality standards of mental health and learning disability services are not possible. In other words, this Trust should see them as a valuable resource. It cannot achieve the transformational change needed without them.”
Download John’s statement (as amended) here→ Position Statement – 27.06.2017. And so say all of us! This is the challenge facing Lynne.
These events coincided with publication of ‘The Busy, the Bossy & the Bully‘, a searing exposé of bullying in the NHS; the inability of NHS mental health Trusts to support staff members; and the impotence of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (“NMC”).
Incorporating ‘The NHS, the Uniform & the Blackberry®‘, this is the true story of James, a mental health trainer, a victim of bullying and mobbing, driven to attempt suicide.
The second part of the book, ‘Justice is a Long Road‘ tells the rest of his story. It shows how NHS Trusts use their muscle to fend off complaints and it shines a bright light on the ineffectiveness of NMC.
It appears that NHS staff are treated the same way as service users and families, who complain and that its disciplinary procedures are not dissimilar to Southern Health’s complaints process – that is, akin to a Kangaroo Court.
CRASH believes that this book is essential learning material for all Southern Health executives and staff.
25 July 2017 – 14.00hrs.