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Officials defend Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals over 'at risk' list

Telford | News | Published:

Health officials in Shropshire have defended the county's two acute hospitals and insisted considerable work has been done to make them safe places for patients to receive treatment.

Sarah Bloomfield, acting director of nursing and quality at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said plans were already in place to bring down waiting times for planned care, reduce delays in A&E and to prioritise patient safety at both the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital.

It comes after the trust, which manages both hospitals, was named in the second most serious category of risk to patients in a report by the Care Quality Commission.

The trust is one of 44 across Britain identified in the report as "high risk" for patients, although it was not among the 24 placed in the highest band of risk.

Issues raised among the trusts named include higher than expected death rates, incidents resulting in harm to patients and low staff and patient satisfaction. There was no detail available on the CQC's specific concerns about the hospitals in Telford and Shrewsbury.

Mrs Bloomfield, acting director of nursing and quality at the trust, said death rates were below the national average and infection control was already good.

She said: "Our priority is to make sure our patients receive the kind of timely, safe and dignified care they expect and deserve.

"The independent inspections carried out by the Care Quality Commission play a vital role in helping the trust, and the NHS as a whole, to maintain and improve the standards of care we offer patients.

"Clearly we understand that there are improvements we need to make and this new surveillance model launched by the CQC will be one of the tools we use to help us do this.

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"This report today highlights issues that we are already aware of from working with our patients and staff and where we are already making plans to improve.

"This includes bringing down waiting times for planned care, improving the way the NHS provides emergency care so that we reduce delays in A&E and striving to live within our means whilst at the same time prioritising patient safety at every stage for every patient.

"There are many indicators that provide important reassurance in the standards of clinical care provided by our committed staff.

"For example, our mortality rates have improved considerably since 2010 and have consistently been below the national average in the last 12 months, and today's report highlights our strong track record on infection control.

"But all of these are important triggers to help us understand where we do well and where we can and must improve."

The CQC said the latest information would be used as a tool to prioritise which trusts to inspect earlier on.

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