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Hospital trust at centre of maternity care scandal criticised

The Care Quality Commission rated services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) as "inadequate" Credit: ITV News Central

Health inspectors have criticised a hospital trust at the centre of a maternity care scandal in a new report.

The Care Quality Commission rated services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) as "inadequate" in findings published today.

The trust, which runs Shropshire's two main hospitals, Telford's Princess Royal and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, was placed into special measures earlier in November. It came in the midst of a review of more than a hundred cases of alleged poor maternity care.

The CQC's report says inspectors are "particularly concerned" about the trust's emergency department and maternity services.

An inspection carried out between August 21st and September 21st rated the trust as inadequate overall, having previously been rated in the "requires improvement" category.

Overall, the trust's performance was rated inadequate for whether its services are safe and well-led, "requires improvement" for the efficacy and responsiveness of services, and "good" for whether its services are caring. This includes improving midwifery staffing levels and taking into account the findings of a review of maternity services by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The trust has been told to also improve how it escalates cases of women at high risk at the midwifery-led unit or day assessment unit, as well as review its policy on reduced foetal movements for midwives and sonographers.

"You cannot be unaffected by a report like this. I'm sorry and disappointed that we have not made as much progress to tackle the issues and challenges that the trust faces as we all want. But people should not lose sight of many things that SaTH does not just well but significantly better than many other trusts around the country.

I know how hard staff are working, how passionate they are about what they do and the care they provide.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."

– Simon Wright, Chief Executive, Trust Chief Executive

Other required improvements:

  • the maintenance of safe environments
  • speeding up complaints handling
  • the secure storage of medicines and records
  • the administering of antibiotics for patients with suspected sepsis
81
Number of areas the Trust has been told to make changes in to boost its standard of care

Trust Chief Executive Simon Wright has apologised for its lack of progress, urging people "not to lose sight" of things it does well.

"While we found staff to be caring and dedicated, there is clearly much work needed at the trust to ensure care is delivered in a way that ensures people are safe."

– Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of hospitals at the CQC

The CQC said inspectors had found some examples of "outstanding practice" in the trust's end-of-life, maternity and critical care services. The trust said some of the CQC concerns had been addressed.