Struggling Shrewsbury and Telford trust slumps to ‘inadequate’ rating as CQC takes urgent safety action

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has been downgraded to ‘inadequate’ following the health inspectorate’s latest inspection.

The trust, which was placed into special measures by NHS Improvement earlier this month, was previously rated as ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC and has now been downgraded to the lowest rating after an inspection of services was carried out at The Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals between 21 August and 21 September.

Following the inspection, the CQC also took urgent action to protect the safety of those using the trust's emergency and maternity services by placing conditions on its registration.

The trust was rated ‘inadequate’ overall, and was given the same rating for whether its services are safe and well-led; whilst the rating ‘requires improvement’ was given to whether its services were effective, and ‘good’ for whether its services were caring.

Chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC Professor Ted Baker said: “While we found staff to be caring and dedicated, there is clearly much work needed at the trust to ensure care is delivered in a way that ensures people are safe.

“We remain particularly concerned about the emergency department and maternity services at SaTH NHS Trust. We have already taken urgent action to protect people and we are monitoring the trust extremely closely.

“We will continue to work with NHS Improvement with regard to the trust. This trust must take action to ensure it makes all improvements necessary to give patients the standard of safe care they should be able to expect. We will return to check on progress with those improvements.”

Amongst its recommendations to the trust, the CQC said that SaTH must ensure that sufficient and suitably qualified and trained staff are available to care for and protect people from the risk of harm.

Other improvements to be made include a reviewing and improving of midwifery staffing levels to meet the demands of women in the area, securing records safely, and ensuring complaints are addressed within the timescale laid down by the trust’s complaints policy.

Chief executive Simon Wright said he is "sorry and disappointed" that the trust has not made as much progress to tackle these issues as targeted.

He added: “You cannot be unaffected by a report like this.

“I know how hard staff are working, how passionate they are about what they do and the care they provide. We will take to heart the CQC’s findings just as we welcome the extra support that is coming with special measures, to double down on the need to get things right and improve for the people we serve.”

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