New boss named at Northampton mental health charity

Katie Fisher has been named as the new boss of St Andrews Healthcare.
Katie Fisher has been named as the new boss of St Andrews Healthcare.

A new chief executive has been named at a Northampton mental health charity - that paid its previous boss £328,000-a-year.

Former chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals, Katie Fisher, is set to become the new boss of the largely NHS-funded St Andrews healthcare from June 28.

St Andrews Healthcare in Northampton was rated inadequate in a CQC inspection last year.

St Andrews Healthcare in Northampton was rated inadequate in a CQC inspection last year.

Having originally trained as a nurse, Katie graduated with distinction from Kingston University.

In her most recent role she led a programme to steer West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust out of "special measures".

However, St Andrews is yet to confirm the wage of the new chief.

Her predecessor, Gill Baldwin, stepped down from his £328,000-a-year post in January, during which time St Andrews received an "inadequate" rating.

Ms Fisher said: “I’m very much looking forward to joining St Andrew’s in the summer.

"While the charity has some challenges to overcome, I have been so impressed by the dedication and commitment of the staff I’ve met during the recruitment process.

"My meetings with patients and their families and carers show how well St Andrew’s supports each patient in a personalised way.

"My primary focus will be to ensure that we consistently deliver high-quality care across the charity, by measuring and improving patient outcomes.”

St Andrew's Healthcare - which runs the mental health hospital, one of the largest in Europe - opened five new units within its men and women's mental health services in 2016, and invested £30 million in the development of new facilities, current wards, buildings and other capital additions.

But last year's damning Care Quality Commission inspection found a number of areas the charity needed to improve on.

Inspectors described an "oppressive culture", where different staff groups reported a "fear of speaking up in case of reprisals".

Peter Winslow, executive chairman, said Ms Fisher was the right person to drive improvements there.

He said: “It says much about the reputation of St Andrew’s that we have been able to attract someone of Katie’s calibre.

"Her record in driving improvements over the last decade, together with her clinical experience, will be of tremendous benefit to the charity. We are all looking forward to working with her.”