Review of all serious incidents at Telford and Shrewsbury hospitals
A review is to be carried out of all serious incidents at Shropshire’s two main hospitals.
A series of visits, some of them unplanned, will also be carried out to ensure hospital services are operating as they should.
The measures are part of steps being put forward by the governing body of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
They come as Shropshire hospitals face claims over unnecessary baby deaths dating back up to 20 years as well as concern over emergency departments and the prospect of Telford's A&E closing at night because of staff shortages.
Director of nursing, quality, and patient experience at Shropshire CCG, Dawn Clarke, said a recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection had now finished and report writing is underway.
“Urgent enforcement action has been taken where necessary,” she added when presenting Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust's quality review update to the CCG board.
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Finola Lynch, GP member of Shropshire CCG, asked if the authority is “absolutely satisfied” that it has done everything needed to both support SaTH and raise concerns that it has over potential harm to patients at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital.
Ms Clarke responded saying the group has been raising issues and has been receiving "appropriate responses" from the trust.
She added: “Some of the problems that we are seeing is the ability of SaTH to be able to provide us with the data. That is a major risk as far as I can see.”
Deborah Shepherd, GP member of Shropshire CCG, said: “We do need to be holding SaTH to account, particularly about data collection and audit.
“There are changes and we need to make sure that these services will be safer than the situation we find ourselves in now.”
Ms Clarke responded: “There are large numbers of staff working day in day out very focused on good safe patient care.”
Julian Povey, chairman of Shropshire CCG, said the CCG needs to look into case where patients have come to harm.
He said: “The vast majority of patients are having a very good level of service, but we can’t forget there are some patients where harm has happened to them and we need to look into this and need to be assured we’re asking questions.
“There is a difference between the feedback from SaTH and from West Midlands Quality Review Service, maybe we should be asking SaTH about that?”
Simon Freeman, accountable officer, for Shropshire CCG, said there has been a "level of concern" around the management of patients for months.
He said: “It’s been a difficult period for everybody involved, our single focus has been to ensure we are discharging our duty of care in respect of the safety of services.
“For many months now we’ve been experiencing a level of concern around the management of patients.
“The CQC inspection is very welcome and we will wait to see what comes out of that.”