Shropshire Star

Shropshire nursing boss: We're sorry for standards seen in undercover expose - and pledge to improve

Read the latest column from Hayley Flavell, director of nursing at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

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Hayley Flavell, director of nursing at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

I would like to start off my column this week with an apology to all our patients, their loved ones and our community after the Channel 4 Dispatches programme highlighted the challenging conditions in our urgent and emergency services at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

As a nurse and having previously worked in an Emergency Department, it was upsetting to see the conditions some of our patients are facing in our hospitals and how incredibly hard our colleagues are having to work to maintain safe services and support the privacy and dignity of patients.

I know that our communities may be worried following the programme and I wanted to offer reassurance, as a nurse, that our top priority is your safety and we have strict criteria in place that means no-one with a critical condition should wait in a corridor or escalation area.

Ultimately, we want to stop using these escalation areas and ensure no-one is waiting long times on a chair or a trolley. However, like many hospitals across the country we are seeing a lot more demand for hospital beds, with more people having complex conditions and more frailty.

Our Emergency Departments were not designed to meet this level of demand, which is why we may ask patients with lower medical needs to sometimes wait in our escalation areas until a bed becomes available.

Urgent and emergency care is an issue for everyone at our trust and also other health and care services. Working with partners, we are doing everything possible to support patients who are medically ready to leave hospital to be discharged, so we can release a bed for someone who is in our emergency departments. Long-term we have plans in place to transform the way we deliver care to help us meet this demand.