PERFORMANCE: Charities and patient groups have welcomed a mental health trust boss’s decision to withdraw from an expert panel examining patient centred care, arguing she was an inappropriate choice for the role.

Katrina Percy, chief executive of Southern Health Foundation Trust stepped down from a panel put together by the Royal College of General Practitioners, to investigate patient-centred care in the 21st Century.

A Southern Health spokesman said: “Katrina Percy has been an active contributor to the Royal College’s panel since it began and continues to have a great deal of experience and insight to offer in reorienting care around patients.

“However, she was concerned that her involvement didn’t distract from the valuable work of the panel, so this summer stepped down.

A group of organisations including the Oxfordshire Family Support Network and Respond, a learning disabilities charity, had expressed concern when Ms Percy was asked to join, following care failings at her trust which resulted in the avoidable death of 18 year old Connor Sparrowhawk last year.

Dr Sara Ryan, Mr Sparrowhawk’s mother and a campaigner said: “We were surprised to find out Katrina Percy was part of this inquiry into patient centred care.

“The care Connor received from Southern Health was not patient centred. If it had been, he might still be alive. 

“It also seemed wrong given the trust is the subject of a police investigation into Connor’s death. We are pleased that she has decided to withdraw from the inquiry.”

Mr Sparrowhawk’s death was found to have been the result of a lack of effective clinical leadership, according to a trust-commissioned report.

In August, the campaigners wrote to the RCGP enquiry’s chair Mike Farrar expressing their concerns about Ms Percy’s involvement.

They said: “In addition we are aware that a number of services Katrina is responsible for have been found wanting by the regulator in precisely the domains relevant to this inquiry.”