Progress in Shropshire hospitals improvement plan but further work needed, new report says
The trust running Shropshire's two main hospitals is progressing with its improvement plan, but is still falling short in some areas, a new report has revealed.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) developed a quality improvement plan after it was placed into special measures last year and received the lowest overall rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Five steering groups were also set up to be responsible for the development and oversight of delivery of the improvement plans to address each issue.
The groups monitor women and children's services, scheduled care, unscheduled care, workforce and leadership at the trust, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital.
A report to the trust's board, which met yesterday, says it is making progress, although some issues are off-track.
A quality and people report shows where SaTH is also falling short in achieving standards.
It says standards are not being met for ambulance handover times at the county's emergency departments and 'the likelihood of achieving the standard going forward is low until staffing has improved'.
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The trust target is that no child will leave the emergency departments without being treated.
However, the report says on occasions this does still happen and is the decision of the patient or parent.
Although, it adds that SaTH does ensure the emergency department consultants contact every parent who has left the department following streaming without being seen.
Sepsis management is also one of the areas 'not achieving standard'.
The trust must have an effective system in place to identify, escalate and manage patients who may present with sepsis or a deteriorating medical condition in line with the relevant national clinical guidelines.
But on ensuring that eligible patients are screened for sepsis, the report says: "SaTH has not met this standard throughout the reporting period.
"Performance appears to be static. There are plans in place with the new sepsis nurse to ensure compliance of the standard in a sustainable way.
"The likelihood of achieving the standard going forward is high and is dependent on the full implementation of the improvement work that the trust has been developing.
"A key requirement is ensuring compliance with agreed pathway improvements."
The report says maternity services are continuing to drive forward its quality improvement plan and underwent a CQC mock inspection in October.
"The feedback is both positive and encouraging with the services moving into the right direction," it continued.
During yesterday's meeting, the trust's chair Ben Reid spoke about the strive to ensure improvements are made, following the leaked report last week which revealed failures in maternity services at the trust looking back 40 years.
He told board members and the public that he wanted people to have confidence in services and that there had been “a significant shifting of the gears for driving this change”
Leadership and the safety of services were both rated 'inadequate' by the CQC last year, while the watchdog said the trust needs to make improvements in how effective and responsive its services are.
It was rated 'good' for whether services were caring.
The trust received an overall 'inadequate' rating.
CQC inspectors visited the trust again this month, although no new report has yet been published.
SaTH's interim chief executive Paula Clark says initial feedback has highlighted a number of areas of good practice, but further improvement is needed.