I’m not one for conspiracy theories, however, as the news spread that Katrina Percy has ‘reflected’ (it’s only taken her three years) and decided her employment at Southern Health was no longer tenable (Trust statement here), something just didn’t smell right. We’ve been around Southern Health long enough to know that very little smells right, but on this occasion the spin has the air of attempted sophistication.
According to the Sloven spinsters this is what happened:
Following the recent announcement that Katrina Percy will take on a regional strategic advisory role, we have received correspondence from the public, patients and families expressing their concerns. We have listened to all of this feedback and reflected.
Now, in the Justice Shed we’d been told that Katrina Percy was being investigated for fraud after giving £5million quid to her mates for meaningless nothingness. So one possibility is that the Trust didn’t want to foot the legal bill so they gave her the elbow.
Another option is that this was all planned all along between KP and Tim (clearly not so) Smart. Smart resigned after the BBC documentary Broken Trust was aired. Smart’s performance was utterly woeful, but he’s woeful in a long line of woeful Chairs at Southern Health. He had to admit that he’d created a (non-)job for KP, on the same salary and benefits (quarter of a million), that wasn’t advertised and for which KP was the only candidate – without doubt kinda illegal.
So what was that stunt all about? Ruth shared today her concerns that Katrina Percy’s severance payment was illegal. It seems that the Repayment of Public Sector Exit Payment Regulations came into force in April 2016. These regulations are meant to limit the amount that public servants can benefit from their employment severance.
If KP had left her role as Chief Executive, her pay off would have had to be limited to £90k. The work around is that Tim Smart created a faux role for KP, she occupied it for barely any time before deciding she couldn’t keep it, she leaves with a massive payout because the rules don’t apply due to Section 7(2):
(2) These Regulations do not apply to an exit payment made to an exit payee — (a) who left employment or office after a period of under 12 months in that employment or office; and (b) during the time they were in employment or office, they earned remuneration under Nx£8,333.34 where N is equal to the number of time that they were in employment or office, rounded down to the nearest number of whole months.
Suddenly KP’s pointless non-job makes sense, as she leaves with the equivalent of a year’s salary.
KP feels great sadness, and NHS Improvement have shared a statement that ends:
We know that this won’t please some who think she ought to have received no payment at all. In situations like this, a perfect deal is not possible. But the strong legal advice we have received is that to do anything else would have a much greater cost to the public purse and, as a consequence, would go against good management of public money.