Southern Health recruits new chief executive from neighbouring trust

Southern Health Foundation Trust, one of the largest providers of its kind in England, has appointed Nick Broughton as its new leader from November.


Dr Broughton, a consultant forensic consultant, is currently chief executive of Somerset Partnership FT – a £169m-income trust that provides mental health and community services across the county.

He is also the interim leader of a new joint executive board set up by Somerset Partnership and Taunton and Somerset FTs.

Dr Broughton’s new role will focus only on Southern Health, a spokeswoman for the trust confirmed.

The announcement comes shortly after HSJ revealed Southern Health is considering divesting itself of its community services provision, which accounts for a third of its £321m income.

Southern Health’s reputation has been damaged in recent years over failures that led to the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, a Care Quality Commission prosecution and the controversial departure of former chief executive Katrina Percy.

Dr Broughton said he was joining at “an extremely important time in its history”.

He said: “Having already spoken to many future colleagues both within and outside the trust, my impression is of an organisation with dedicated and exceptional staff who are focused on doing the right thing for their patients.”

He added that it was “difficult” decision to leave Somerset Partnership.

Lynne Hunt, chair of Southern Health, said: “Nick brings with him an incredibly positive and kind approach which is centred around the patient and in improving the quality of our services.”

The trust has appointed Paul Draycott as its new director of workforce. Mr Draycott joins from North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust.

Three new non-executive directors have also taken up roles with the trust, following the resignation of four NEDs earlier this year.

Stephen Ladyman, chair of Somerset Partnership FT, said he was “disappointed” to lose Dr Broughton.

“He has led the significant improvements we have made in the quality of our care, recognised most recently by the CQC in their report of our re-inspection, and helped keep the trust in financial balance,” Dr Ladyman said.

HSJ understands a new chief executive is likely to be announced next month. They will also lead the new joint executive board.

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