THE future of a crisis-hit health trust will be debated by MPs in Parliament.
Southern Health NHS Trust will be the subject of fierce debate after a Hampshire MP called for it to be brought before the House of Commons.
Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said the crisis around the trust, which has come under intense scrutiny for failing vulnerable patients, was causing "huge concern for many people".
The trust has been condemned by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after failing to protect patients and investigate the deaths of hundreds of people in its care following a scathing independent report.
And recently it was branded a "shambles" after rebel governors held a breakaway meeting in a bid to demand improvements, leading to calls for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to intervene.
Chief executive Katrina Percy has refused repeated calls to stand down.
Ms Fernandes, who leads on health issues for the Hampshire All Party Group of MPs, is expected to kick off the debate on June 8, which will feature a response from a minister
The CQC announced last month that it had issued a warning notice to the trust ‘to improve its governance arrangements to ensure robust investigation and learning from incidents and deaths, to reduce future risks to patients.’
This came after a focussed CQC inspection in January, which was held as part of the response to the previous independent report into the trust’s investigation into deaths in its care.
The trust’s chairman resigned ahead of the publication of the full CQC report, and NHS Improvement has appointed a new chairman, Tim Smart, and taken further regulatory action, inserting additional conditions to its contract to allow changes to be made to the Trust’s management if progress is not made with implementing changes.
Ms Fernandes said: “I am very pleased to have secured this debate. The issues surrounding Southern Health have caused huge concern for many people, and it is right that as MPs we get the chance to debate them in Parliament.
“I know many of my colleagues in Hampshire and beyond have expressed serious doubts about the governance of the Trust, and remain to be convinced that the necessary improvements are being made quickly enough.
“In the run-up to the debate I will be seeking views from them, as well as from affected patients and their relatives, the regulatory bodies and the Trust itself. It’s vital that we have an informed discussion and air these concerns in public.”
A spokesman for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said the organisation is aware of the forthcoming debate and would be listening to politicians' views and would comment after it had taken place.
The organisation provides services for 45,000 people in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and employs 9,000 staff at around 200 sites.