• Alan Yates appointed as interim chair at Southern Health following Tim Smart’s resignation
  • NHS Improvement “required” the troubled trust to appoint Mr Yates to the position
  • Mr Yates will lead a review of the trust’s services

The new interim chair appointed by regulators at Southern Health Foundation Trust is to lead a review into the future of the troubled trust’s services.

Alan Yates took up the post on Thursday following the resignation of Tim Smart as interim chair in September, after less than five months at the trust.

Mr Yates will lead a review, launched by the trust last month, into how services run by Southern Health can be provided in future.

The review will work with staff, patients, families, carers, and other health providers and organisations.

NHS Improvement has said once it is completed in early 2017, its findings will be reviewed with a view to the possible reconfiguration of services.

The trust has been experienced significant upheaval since chief executive Katrina Percy first resigned from her position to take up a strategic role in August. She then resigned from that position last month. Some of the trusts services have also been broken up.

Ms Percy had been under huge pressure since the publication in December of a report by the audit firm Mazars, which highlighted failures at the trust to investigate and learn from patient deaths.

Julie Dawes, the trust’s substantive director of nursing, has been acting as interim chief executive.

In a statement, NHS Improvement said it “required” Southern Health to appoint Mr Yates for a four month period, who was brought into the trust by the regulator as improvement director in April.

Mr Yates has been chief executive of three trusts and was improvement director at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, which was removed from special measures last month.

NHS Improvement’s executive regional managing director for the South, Anne Eden, said the regulator wanted to work with the existing staff to improve services.

She added: “The trust has some excellent staff working hard to improve services for patients. We want to work with them, plus those who use the services and their families, to help design their future.”