Sloven financial irregularities (that is, bunging apparently endless amounts of public dosh to mates for little or no return) hit the news on Friday, via Michael Buchanan. Today Chris Hatton published his analysis of the Sloven (or Sudden Wealth) 2015/16 Annual Report. I can’t recommend reading this post enough. Just one titbit (and there are so many) is that KP simply cut and pasted the last paragraph of her closing statement from the previous Annual Report. Unbelievable action in any annual report, but breathtaking given the content and context. The end of the paragraph states:
Notwithstanding this, my review confirms that the Trust is taking appropriate actions to deliver the agreed undertakings and ensure compliance with the Trust’s provider licence and to address any weaknesses in the system of internal control.
Those failings and enforcement notices clearly just roll over yearly. Sickening demonstration of the contempt the Sloven board have for patients, staff, regulators and the wider NHS, and the public. And further indication the Sloves (or Suddens) are not capable of improvement.
What is actually going on here?
Let’s have a little look see at what’s happened since the Mazars review was published:
- In December 2015 Jeremy Hunt announced the CQC would go in and inspect Sloven again with a focus on death reporting.
- In April, the CQC announced serious (continuing) failings.
- Ball over to NHS Improvement who send in Clive Bell as Improvement Director and, subsequently, Tim Smart as Interim Board Chair.
- Tim Smart did a tinpot investigation (no family involvement), Katrina Percy was subjected to six hours of psychometric tests and he gave the board a clean bill of health. A week ago he commended the performance of the board to the Council of Governors (audio from 17.10 here…)
So blinking awkward. In the light of the Buch-Hatt findings this is a serious egg on the face situation for Smart (who signed off the Annual Report) and Jim Mackey (CEO of NHS Improvement). It also offers some chunky old clues about where pro-Percy HQ is based. [And believe me, many people are asking this question…] Jezza took action, the CQC took action, things get snarled up in an NHS Improvement pretend party. Interestingly, a Sloven staff fairy heard that Sloven exec, Paul Streat (who worked at, er, NHS Improvement before joining the trust) was arrogant and dismissive about #JusticeforLB in a Senior Viral training day.
We heard yesterday a rumour that KP won’t be returning from her holiday after pressure from the Department of Health. Jezza now has Alistair Burt’s (love him) portfolio for mental health/learning disability issues. He has the ball firmly back in his court. Here’s hoping he takes action (or further action if Percy has been pushed) and removes other culpable board members. The rot in that room is extensive.
He should then perhaps ask questions of Mackey and his merry band. It really ain’t the job of campaigners and journalists to reveal what is in full sight of NHS Improvement, NHS England and the Department of Health.