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NHS bosses find no patient safety issues at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Shrewsbury | Health | Published:

NHS bosses who carried out an unannounced visit to Shrewsbury’s emergency department found no patient safety issues but were concerned about ‘boarding’ on some wards, a report has revealed.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

A report to Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s governance board said the county’s A&E departments have been facing a high level of demand and representatives from NHS Improvement and NHS England visited Royal Shrewsbury Hospital last month.

The team explored the views of staff on patient care and observed the emergency department, acute medical unit, surgical assessment unit and clinical decisions unit.

The report to the CCG board said: “Due to the pressures in acute systems, an unannounced joint visit with NHS Improvement and NHS England was undertaken in February to review the urgent care pathway at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to seek assurance that patients were safe.

“The visiting team did not observe any patient safety issues whilst in ED, AMU, SAU or CDU.

“However, the team were concerned that patients remain boarded on these wards although the appropriate assessment are in place to ensure patients are safe, the patient experience is affected by being boarded.”

It said a report is currently being finalised to be sent to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs RSH and Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, for “comment and action”.

Boarding is a term used for patients who are awaiting admission, but who are still in the emergency department beyond agreed service standards.

The term also accounts for patients on wards who are not in properly configured beds.

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SaTH says such visits are not unusual and form part of the normal assurance process.

It emerged earlier this week that 30 patients were left waiting on trolleys for more than 12 hours at Shropshire's A&E departments in January.

The CCG has since reviewed reports on the breaches.

The report to the CCG board continued: "In all cases there was no harm to patients identified and no immediate actions required to ensure the safety of the patients, staff or public.

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"The full root cause analysis investigations continue.

"In the meantime, the learning and actions the trust is taking to address these issues will be monitored by the quality committee."

SaTH was also ranked the worst in the country for its A&E waiting times in January.

Hospital bosses say the trust's top priority is "patient safety".

The trust says it also has plans in place to help care for patients safely at busy times.

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