Improvement recognised at Southern Health

NHS Improvement has announced it is lifting some of the regulatory undertakings placed on Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in 2016, after seeing clear evidence of progress.

The regulator took action in 2016 following the independent ‘Mazars report into the way the trust investigated the deaths of vulnerable patients, requiring the trust to implement all recommendations in the report.

Since then, NHS Improvement found that the trust now has a ‘culture of increased openness and transparency’, finding real progress in the way the trust investigates and reports patient deaths and involves family members in the process.

Nick Broughton, chief executive of Southern Health, said: “The audit findings published at the beginning of the year were very encouraging. NHSI’s actions today reinforce these findings and demonstrate that Southern Health is making genuine progress in changing the culture of the organisation to one that continuously improves and learns.

“Improving the quality of our services remains our top priority and we are embracing a substantial transformation programme which will see us take on new approaches and methodologies to improve our services and the care we provide. We know we still have more to do and there will be further challenges ahead, but I firmly believe we are well on the way to creating an organisation that our patients and their families deserve.”

Anne Eden, executive regional managing director (South East), NHS Improvement and NHS England, added: “The historic failings at the trust are well documented and it is right that the trust has been held to account for them. However, this is encouraging progress which represents improvements in services for local patients and should also be recognised. Southern Health continues to be subject to regulatory action from NHS Improvement to ensure they maintain momentum in their work and provide the highest standards of care expected of all NHS trusts. We will continue to work with the new leadership team at the trust to drive improvement, deliver for local patients and build the confidence of the local community.”

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