'Urgent' enforcement action taken against Shropshire NHS trust
A health watchdog has taken enforcement action against the trust running Shropshire's two main hospitals.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it has taken the urgent action against Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) "to ensure that people always get the care and treatment they have every right to expect".
It follows an inspection at the trust, which runs Telford's Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which raised safety concerns.
SaTH's chief executive Simon Wright said inspectors had raised concerns about A&E and boarding but an action plan was in place to resolve matters.
However, it has now been revealed the CQC has taken enforcement action in two areas.
It has imposed conditions on SaTH in terms of the systems it has in place around patients who may present with sepsis or other deteriorating medical conditions in the emergency departments, and of the environmental safety in Telford's A&E.
There had been claims that staff at SaTH told inspectors that patients were being treated like 'animals and cattle in 'unsafe, demeaning, undignified, and disgusting' conditions.
Heidi Smoult, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “An inspection of services provided by SaTH took place over six days at the end of August.
"That inspection identified concerns regarding patient safety.
“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.”
Earlier this week, the CQC said as a result of the safety concerns it had written to the trust’s chief executive to ask for evidence of the steps the trust had taken to ensure patients are safe and protected from risk.
Mr Wright said: “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 PRH.
“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.”
Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies previously claimed there had been concerns at the trust for many months and called on the government to intervene.
Meanwhile, health bosses are considering whether a temporary overnight closure of either the A&E in Telford or Shrewsbury will need to be put in place as they have warned the situation is heading to breaking point.