The Percy Problem?

Oh my. A piece in the Mail on Sunday* today about Katrina Percy, former Sloven CEO, touting leadership expertise on LinkedIn.  During twitter exchanges across the day I was bounced back to exchanges around our referral of Percy to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for investigation under the Fit and Proper Person Regulation (FPPR) back in the day.

A right old dogs dinner that spanned more than 18 months. Littered with a remarkable number of non-responses. Demonstration of the disregard and disrespect bereaved families can expect from the NHS and wider bodies. Brutal non-responses…

17 March 15 We refer Katrina Percy for investigation.
[No response.] Please reply even if only to say you’ve received the email. Families are in a terrible, brutalised position. To ignore is to simply add a size 10 Doc Marten kick in the gut to the experience.
27 May 15 I tweet about this non-response. Andrea Sutcliffe steps in to mediate. Good for Andrea but it shouldn’t take a tweet and the potential for reputational damage to generate action.
29 May 15 An apology from Mike Richards, then Head of Inspection, for the delay in response.
1 June 15 A letter from Richards with the panel decision:
Richards bollox

No words.

3 Jan 16 After publication of the Mazars review we ask the CQC to reconsider their decision.
[No response.] As above. I tweet and Andrea Sutcliffe again steps in to mediate This flags up some communication type issues that really need addressing.
1 Mar 16 Email from Mike Richards’ executive PA to say our referral is tabled for the FPPR management review meeting on 11 Mar 16 and we’ll hear after that.
‘Thank you’ I reply. The differential in power laid starkly by the ‘thank you’ emails.
31 Mar 16  Hello, I email… Again.  Is there any news? As above.
1 Apr 16  Email from Paul Lelliot (Deputy Chief Inspector for Mental Health) to say the Chair, PA and Mike Richards are on annual leave. We should hear soon. A holding email takes about 1 minute to write and send. There is no excuse to piss off on leave and not reply. 
4 Apr 16 The Chair replies:

The panel concluded that any further action should be considered once CQC had concluded our most recent review and have an understanding of the position of NHS Improvement in relation to the trust.

6 Apr 16 A warning notice (and no action) from the CQC is announced.
7 Apr 16 I email to ask what the CQC are going to do about Katrina Percy.
14 May 16 I chase up my email.
15 May 16 Apologies for not updating I’m told. We will provide an update shortly.
29 July 16 I email for an update. [Note we’re leaving gaps of 5/6 weeks before recontacting. The spectre of the vexatious family/mother ever present. This consideration is not even a whiff among CQC business. Kind of reminding me of a paper we wrote about the ringside seat autistic people can have to mainstream life with little or no reciprocated thought from mainstream society.]
29 July 16 An email response: they are waiting for Tim Smart’s review of board capability and governance.
22 Aug 16 I email to ask if there is any decision about FPPR.

No reply. They didn’t bother to reply. As above. With bells on.

Katrina Percy ‘stepped down’ at the end of September 2016.


There are three criminal prosecutions against the Trust in 2017. All cover Percy’s period of ‘leadership’. The Health Service Journal awarded her a ‘CEO of the Year Award’ back in the day which features on her LinkedIn profile. This was, according to a HSJ journalist, awarded by an independent (non-HSJ) panel, nothing to do with the HSJ and ‘before the issues were known‘.

We all know the issues now. Many of us recognised them before weighty (bloated, worn out and toxic seeped and steeped) senior NHS (Improvement/England/CQC/Dept of Health figures) eventually stopped slumbering. We all now know.

There is no more pretence. No more shonky little (and big) practices covering up, denying, bullying, bouncing and battering blame onto bereaved families.

The questions that whizzle around our brains/discussion relentlessly (raised by all sorts of people we meet, bump into or who even pull over to talk to us on the street)… Questions any sensible, non-NHS befuddled (at best) person asks and continues to ask remain unanswered. Not least how the hell could any of this happen? 

I don’t know if I want to ever know the answer/s to this. I just hope that those senior bods who were, and continue to be implicated, take a long hard look at themselves. That they start to polish their murky and corrupt stained goggles. Set aside the lure of the rewards for not seeing, not listening and denying and breath in some fresh air.

You’ve been arsewipes of fuckwhattery proportions. There’s no doubt about this. There is also time to change.


*Our experience of sensitive and thoughtful exchanges with journalists continued with Jonathan Bucks. Thank you.

5 thoughts on “The Percy Problem?

  1. Read what you’ve gone through and so so grateful for the forensic detail as informs some of us on what , if anything, we should do. So many different bodies meant to be regulating yet no one ever responsible in the MH/LD arena. Really seems like chasms between agencies all playing pass the parcel with no one ever stepping up to the plate and going yep, we fucked up big time . In MH world we’ve started calling it ‘Pass the Mental’ – a (unchallenged) phrase used by a MH CCG commissioner once in a meeting that sums up how people are seen and valued. Apart from private prosecution with all the stress & costs involved how do you stop someone like Katrina Percy? Pretty sure the NHS nepotism gravy trainers will welcome her back once they think a ‘suitable’ time has passed. Fit and proper? Not in a million fucking years. But unfortunately real world moral compass doesn’t fit with upper echelons of NHS. You’ve been an incredible support to those of us who’ve been abused in services or lost people under their care in ways never addressed. So a million hugs and thanx to all of you.

    • There are many competent people out there, as well as incompetent, so why is this Percy person who seems so ordinary given opportunities?
      The competent ones could sort things out and still reward people to keep them happy.
      I know many professionals who read these blogs are baffled too.

  2. Non accountable recycling of incompetent Execs by LA’s, dovetail with similar in NHS. Failed Execs move silently and seamlessly between the two when the proverbial hits a Publicly paid for fan….

    LA complaints processes also gate keep. They protect reputation and career first, facilitated by a weak or chummy Ombudsman and CQC.

    Swift hiring of aggressive solicitors by both, LA and NHS, at first whiff of family concern, slams the door on justice for the most resolute of families.

    Poor or nil monitoring of the S/services commissioned by the LA, completes this complicit circle …….as it goes round and round…and round..

  3. What part have Coroners played in this? Whilst we must be careful criticising ‘our learned friends’, taking all Sloven failures into account, why have Coroners across the area only issued three Regulation 28, Prevention of Future Deaths Reports on Sloven. One Coroner responded recently:

    “In this case, having heard evidence about the serious incident review carried out in relation to [this] death and the steps taken as a result of that review, I was satisfied that it was not necessary to issue a Regulation 28 Report in respect of [this] death.”

    So there you are, Sloven just promise that they have already taken adequate steps (they can hardly say otherwise!) and Coroners believe them without question. There are two other questions:

    1. Are Coroners reluctant to be seen to be publicly criticising the NHS?
    2. As they no longer receive legal aid for Inquests, how many families even know about Regulation 28 Reports much less have the confidence to put forward a strong case for a Report in Court. Of the three Reports issued: two families certainly instructed lawyers. It is not known if the third family engaged lawyers, but the deceased’s spouse was an eminent medical practitioner so probably cognisant of Regulation 28 anyway.

    S.28 Reports and Percy’s responses are available at, along with Sentencing Remarks of the District Judge in one of Sloven’s criminal convictions.

  4. Have been reading your tweets of yesterday Sara.

    And am thinking…..and am shaking with anger..

    Shame on them all.

    A decade ago – more harshly since, Government cuts were gifted on Services governed by arrogant over rewarded leaders.

    They all agreed that other peoples families and children would be – could be – treated as less – as lesser members of the human order to balance the books.

    All complicit in balancing the books on other peoples lives.

    Complicit in a human carnage……

    Carnage of the soul.. for sons and daughters and parents, in loving homes.

    Carnage, in fear and despair for the sons and daughters who have neither home or parents.

    Many more people would have died – but for the weary constantly terrified parents – of all ages.

    And but for the vigilant oversight of people who work for starvation wages.

    We pay their bottom line….and they balance the books on us and ours. lives

    Shame on them….all.

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