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Shropshire hospital chief executive defends trust's reputation

By Andrew Morris | Telford | Health | Published:

The chief executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has defended the hospital's reputation after a health watchdog branded it 'inadequate'.

Simon Wright said he was totally committed to the trust and the local community and would not be considering resigning in the wake of the CQC report which was released today.

"The obligation when things go wrong, is to see them through," he said.

"We are an organisation which needs to improve and learn from the past. There are areas where we clearly need to focus on.

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"You can not be unaffected by a report like this and that we have not been able to make more progress. We acknowledge the report and do not seek to hide from the things in it.

"It is very important that we balance the areas of change with the areas of opportunity.

"The CQC identifies a number of areas that require improvement. We are performing in line with other trusts but that is not good enough.

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"The reality is that we will be using the CQC report to form our actions. There are pockets of really good care but there are also concerns. We have to take that on the chin and move forward."

Ben Reid, chairman of the board said he was 'really disappointed' with the report and the way it reflects the organisation.

He added that the board needed to strengthen the leadership of the trust and a number of restructuring measures had already been undertaken.

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"Management will be held to account," he added.

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"We need to prove to people that we are worthy of the £312 million investment we have received."

Mr Wright added: "There are areas that have been identified and we have to acknowledge that and we do.

"But there are areas where change is coming. We are encouraging staff to come forward with any concerns they may have.

"We are working hard to improve confidence and we are creating a solid foundation.

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"But there are areas in the report which are just not good enough but there are others where we have seen a massive improvement.

"We will take to heart the CQC's findings just as we welcome the extra support that is coming with special measures, to double down on the need to get things right and improve for the people we serve."

South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has said he expects SaTH to improve, following the publication of the report.

Mr Dunne visited the Princess Royal Hospital on the day it was announced the trust would be placed in special measures, and has been in regular contact with senior management to establish what steps they are taking to respond to the CQC report.

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Mr Dunne said: “As we know, the trust was recently placed into special measures. So this report from the CQC does not come as a surprise, though it provides more detail as to why it was felt necessary to put the trust into special measures.

"I visited the trust earlier this month, and am confident that senior management are working hard to ensure patient safety improves.

"We know that many issues highlighted in the report have arisen due to inadequate staffing numbers, in particular in Accident and Emergency.

"But thanks to last week’s announcement we also know this is already being addressed through the addition to the A&E staffing rota of three consultants, 11 middle grade doctors and 15 new nurses.

"This recruitment was welcomed by the new Health Minister Stephen Hammond MP in response to my Question in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

"The trust is embracing special measures status as an opportunity to seek better guidance and examples from the NHS more widely, to help improve patient care here. This is the right approach.

"I will continue to engage with ministers and SaTH management and staff to ensure performance improves in future, so the trust puts itself in the best place to come out of special measures as soon as it is appropriate to do so.”

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Local Democracy Reporter - @AndyMorrisLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Shropshire.

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