A NEW leadership team has been appointed at a controversial Hampshire health trust, a year after the resignation of its former heads.

Dr Nick Broughton will take up the post of chief executive at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust from November, taking over from director of nursing Julie Dawes, who replaced former head Katrina Percy as interim chief executive last August.

The consultant forensic psychiatrist is currently chief executive of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Alongside this, the Trust has also confirmed the appointment of three new non-executive directors: David Kelham, David Monk and Jeni Bremner; and a substantive director of workforce, Paul Draycott. This set of appointments provides the organisation with a permanent chair, a permanent chief executive and three newly appointed non-executive directors.

As reported, Ms Percy dramatically fell on her sword in the wake of a series of scandals including the organisation's failure to investigate the deaths of hundreds of people in its care – including the high profile case of Connor Sparrowhawk.

Last August she announced she would be stepping down as chief executive.

But it was later revealed that she is not leaving the Trust but is being kept on in a 'strategic' role with the same salary.

That decision sparked anger among grieving families slammed the trust as "outrageous" for allowing her to retain her six-figure pay check while serving in a new advisory role within the Calmore-based trust.

But Trust bosses defended the decision claiming Ms Percy is "ideally suited" for the new position providing strategic advice to GPs to help improve health services in Hampshire.

This came despite a barrage of criticism thrown at Ms Percy following a scathing Care Quality Commission (CQC) report accusing the trust of "serious failings" in failing to investigate the deaths of hundreds of people between 2011 and 2015.

The trust runs a series of services for people with mental health problems and disabilities, providing services for 45,000 people in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Regarding the new appointments, Trust chair, Lynne Hunt said: “We are delighted to have Nick joining the Trust and feel enormously fortunate to have someone of his calibre taking the organisation forward at such a critical time. Nick brings with him an incredibly positive and kind approach which is centred around the patient and in improving the quality of our services. I have no doubt that he will be a powerful advocate from the top of the organisation for all those we care for and support, and will ensure staff at all levels of the organisation feel engaged and are heard.

"Our Non-Executives also have an extremely strong profile and are passionate about helping the organisation to rebuild confidence among our patients, partners and the local community. The organisation has made strong progress over the past year and with a newly invigorated Board in place I feel confident that we can now go from strength to strength.”

Dr Broughton added: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the trust at what is undoubtedly an extremely important time in its history. Having already spoken to many future colleagues both within and outside the trust my impression is of an organisation with dedicated and exceptional staff who are focused on doing the right thing for their patients.

My priority will be to ensure that the trust provides the best possible care to all those that use its many services and that our patients are at the centre of all we do. To do this we will need to work together and build on some of the strong foundations that are already in place. Going forward I am confident that by doing this and maintaining a relentless focus on the quality of care confidence and pride in the organisation will be restored.”