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Shropshire hospitals trust placed into special measures

By Lisa O'Brien | Telford | Health | Published: | Last Updated:

The trust running Shropshire's two main hospitals has been placed into special measures.

SaTH is expected to be placed into special measures imminently, says Telford MP Lucy Allan

Telford's MP Lucy Allan revealed on Thursday that NHS Improvement has chosen to take the step against Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Earlier this week it emerged SaTH had received a third warning from the Care Quality Commission over the safety of its services.

Yesterday afternoon NHS Improvements confirmed that the trust had been placed in special measures.

It said: "Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust will get enhanced support to improve its services for patients as NHS Improvement has placed the trust into special measures for quality reasons.

"The decision comes as the trust continues to address several challenges where patient care could be at risk. These challenges include governance, workforce, urgent and maternity care and whistleblowing issues.

"NHS Improvement’s decision to place Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust in special measures will mean that the trust will receive enhanced support, including additional funding, additional capacity to support the planned improvement programme, external buddying arrangements and strengthened oversight arrangements.

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"This is on top of improvement support that NHS Improvement has been providing so far, including the appointment of an improvement director, support on a long-term workforce strategy to address the Trust’s vacancies, quality visits, a Board development session on ‘Freedom to Speak Up’, and the introduction of a safety oversight and assurance group.

"NHS Improvement can place trusts into special measures for quality in response to a recommendation from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following its inspections and subsequent reports, as well as based on its own evidence. While that formal recommendation is awaited, NHS Improvement has made its decision based on the information it has gathered and having taken advice from CQC.

"The CQC carried out inspections of the trust’s services in August and September 2018. CQC’s reports are expected imminently but in response to its findings, CQC has already taken enforcement action to ensure patients get safe, high quality and compassionate care."

Commitment

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Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS Improvement, added: "While Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been working through its many challenges, it is important that the trust is able to deliver the high-quality care that patients deserve. The time is right to ramp up our help by placing the trust in special measures.

"We know that the trust welcomes this decision and shares our commitment to turn around its performance and quality concerns for the benefit of patients and the wider community.”

The Care Quality Commission health watchdog carried out inspections at the trust in August.

Lucy Allan and Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard both called for SaTH to be placed into special measures following the concerns raised by the CQC.

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Ms Allan said: "It has been announced today that NHS Improvement has taken the decision to put SaTH into special measures.

“This is a much-needed step forward.

"I have been pushing for special measures, together with Mark Pritchard and the Conservative Group on Telford & Wrekin Council, since September, after it became clear that the management could not cope with the serious challenges they faced and which were compromising the safety of residents.

"I am pleased that this decision has now been made so the trust can move forward with the right help and support."

Mr Pritchard added: "I am pleased the CQC has listened to the serious concerns I have raised with local councillors over the last weeks and months.

"I hope the trust will now get the support it needs to continue to deliver high quality healthcare."

CQC statement released

The CQC this afternoon released a statement: “Our inspection report on Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital NHS Trust is currently with the trust for factual accuracy checks and we will be publishing it as soon as this process has been completed.

"Today I wrote to the Chief Executive of NHS Improvement to say that I anticipated that I would be making a formal recommendation of special measures upon publication of the report.

"I believe there is sufficient evidence that the trust will not be able to make all the necessary improvements in the quality of their services without external support and I asked NHS Improvement to put in place all necessary support without delay.”

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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