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CQC takes enforcement action amid safety fears at Shrewsbury trust

The CQC has decided to take “urgent enforcement action” against a trust that was last week embroiled in controversy after more cases of poor care were allegedly identified at its maternity unit.

The organisation has inspected Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust over six days last week after claims were made of staff shortages.

The inspectorate has now reportedly handed the trust with a notice, which gives the CQC the ability to either suspend the provider’s registration or impose restrictions on it.

Shrewsbury has 28 days to appeal the notice.

Heidi Smoult, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said that the August inspection “identified concerns regarding patient safety,” adding: “We have now taken urgent enforcement action against the trust to ensure that people always get the care and treatment they have every right to expect.

“We will provide further information when the legal process allows.”

In response, trust chief executive Simon Wright said in a statement: “We have received notification from the CQC that they have imposed conditions on us in terms of the systems we have in place around patients who may present with sepsis or other deteriorating medical conditions in our Emergency Departments and of the environmental safety of our Emergency Department at the Princess Royal Hospital.

“Work on these areas had already begun before this notification and we will continue to work hard in these areas to reassure the CQC, and therefore our patients and staff, that these procedures are in place.”

Last week, the trust told NHE that reports that dozens more cases of poor care were discovered were “factually inaccurate and untrue.” Wright argued that to suggest that there are more cases beyond those identified by a government review last year “is irresponsible and scaremongering.”

According to the Shropshire Star, health bosses in the region are considering whether a temporary overnight closure of either the A&E in Telford or Shrewsbury will need to be enforced as a result of service pressures. The leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Shaun Davies, has also been raising concerns at the trust for several months and called on the government to intervene.

Top image: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/PA Images 

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