Inspectors raise further concerns about Shropshire A&Es
Further concerns have been raised about Shropshire's A&E departments following an inspection last week.
Bosses at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) say immediate action has been taken after a number of issues were raised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC visited Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford last week and has written to the trust to highlight a number of areas where action needs to be taken.
The trust says it has responded quickly and put in place a number of plans to address these issues to ensure patients receive the best care possible.
Louise Barnett, chief executive at SaTH, which runs the hospitals, said: “We take the feedback from the CQC extremely seriously and we are acting urgently to improve the aspects of the care highlighted by them.
“We strive to give the best care possible to all of our patients, however the findings of the CQC show that we have not done this for all our patients.
“We have made some improvements in our emergency departments in recent months, but it is clear that more has to be done to implement change and ensure improvements become embedded and we are committed to doing this.”
The trust says it has put in place an additional triage room at RSH to help ensure patients receive effective clinical assessment within 15 minutes of arrival at A&E.
It is providing additional paediatric triage nurses through the use of agency staff, and has introduced two-hourly "comfort rounds" to ensure patients’ needs are being met.
The hospitals have matrons working exclusively in the emergency departments to oversee quality and safety.
Other measures taken by the trust have included increasing the number of health care assistants in the A&E departments and daily spot checks by the tissue viability and infection prevention and control teams.
The patient experience team will also be spending more time in the emergency departments and will produce a weekly report on their findings to support further improvements.
Ms Barnett said: “Our dedicated colleagues work extremely hard in the face of increasing demand and we will be working with them, as well as our regulators and commissioners, including the CQC, to make further improvements in our emergency departments for the people we serve.”
SaTH is currently rated inadequate overall by the CQC and was placed in special measures more than two years ago.
Heidi Smoult, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “During our focused inspection of SaTH’s urgent and emergency services on the 17 and 18 February we identified a number of concerns.
"We have written to the trust to request evidence of the steps it is taking to ensure patients are safe and protected from risk.
"We will review the trust’s response to determine whether the use of our enforcement powers is required.
"We will report on our full inspection findings and any action we take in due course.”