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Provider chief executive to step down

Published on: 12 Oct 2021

The chief executive of a major independent mental health provider has announced her departure after leading the organisation out of special measures.

Katie Fisher, CEO of St Andrew’s Healthcare, will leave her position after three years at the helm. Ms Fisher, a former trust chief executive, said she plans to return to the “acute physical healthcare sector” after a short break.

Ms Fisher joined St Andrew’s in 2018 when the provider was in special measures following several high-profile care scandals, and amid criticism of its leadership by the Care Quality Commission.

In January 2020, the organisation announced plans to cut its bed base by a third to help improve its troubled inpatient services. The reduction included the sale of one of its hospitals to an NHS trust.

Around the same time, the CQC published another inspection report which included allegations by staff of a “cover-up culture” and the falsifying of records.

However, in December 2020, the provider was taken out of special measures after being rated “requires improvement” by the CQC.

Ms Fisher said: “It’s with a very heavy heart that I’ve made the decision to resign. Despite the challenges we’ve faced I have enjoyed every second of it.”

The provider’s deputy CEO Jess Lievesley will take over as interim CEO until a permanent appointment is made.