Shropshire Star

A&E scandal: Shrewsbury hospital trust apologises after shocking documentary findings

Shocking scenes captured by an undercover reporter in a county A&E do not 'meet the standards' expected, hospital management has admitted.

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Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has issued a statement following a Channel 4 expose which aired on Monday evening.

The programme laid bare some of the worst experiences faced by patients attending Royal Shrewsbury Hospital's A&E department.

In the statement SaTH has apologised to county residents who have been affected by issues at its hospitals – be they long waiting times, overcrowding, or a lack of privacy in their care.

It also insisted it is "doing everything possible" to prevent issues of privacy, dignity and wellbeing in the care it provides.

It said: "Following on from Channel 4's Dispatches, which highlighted the challenging conditions in our urgent and emergency care services at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, we want to apologise to those affected in the programme and to everyone in our communities who has been affected by long waiting times, overcrowding and a lack of privacy when accessing emergency care.

The makeshift ward set up on the X-ray corridor at the Emergency Department of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Picture: Dispatches/Channel 4/PA Wire

"Even when we are faced with significant pressures, we must uphold the highest standards of care and we recognise that some of the conditions displayed in the programme did not meet these standards. Across the wider Trust, we are determined to ensure we consistently deliver the care, compassion and dignity we strive for our patients.

"As with other hospitals, our Trust is facing significant challenges with urgent and emergency care. We understand our challenges and are investing in our services and making steady improvements as a Trust, as noted in our recent CQC report. However, there is still much more to do; we do not want to be in a position where we are caring for patients on corridors.

The Dispatches programme showed scenes from inside Royal Shrewsbury Hospital's 'Fit to Sit' area

"We are very sorry that our patients have experienced anything less than the quality care we strive for, and we are determined, working with partners, to improve the care and experience for everyone. We are continuing to do everything possible to support the privacy, dignity and wellbeing of our patients, and have adapted the way we deliver care in our urgent and emergency care services by investing in additional staffing, screens, cleaning and catering. We recognise there is still further to go on our improvement journey.

"Our colleagues are working incredibly hard to maintain safe services and we are grateful for everything they are doing to support our patients in this difficult working environment. We would also like to thank our patients for their support and understanding during this time."