Dudley's hospital trust was taken before the Magistrates Court today, after the deaths of two patients.
33-year-old Natalie Billingham from Tipton, a mum of six, and 14-year-old Kaysie-Jane Bland from Netherton, both died at Russells Hall Hospital with sepsis, shortly after being admitted.
Dudley Magistrates Court heard today, during a 30 minute hearing, that the Care Quality Commission alleges the Trust failed to provide safe care and treatment.
The Care Quality Commission said in a statement yesterday that it was bringing the criminal prosecution against the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust over two alleged breaches of regulations 12 and 22 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, which relate to ensuring patients receive safe care and treatment.
The Trust has not yet entered a plea, but District Judge Graham Wilkinson said today that the Trust would be required to enter its pleas to the charges at a further hearing on July 2.
The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust is the main provider of hospital and adult community services to Dudley, parts of the Sandwell borough and parts of South Staffordshire and Wyre Forest - that's around 450,000 people.
It has three sites - including Russells Hall Hospital, which caters for urgent care, medical care, surgery, children and young people, maternity, outpatients, diagnostics, end of life and critical care.
The hospital was last inspected by the Care Quality Commission in February, to check how they were responding to winter pressures. The urgent and emergency services were examined, and it achieved an overall rating of 'Requires Improvement.'
The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust says,
"It would be inappropriate for the Trust to comment on the CQC prosecution while court proceedings are active.
We do, however, want to reassure our patients and the public that the hospital provides a safe and compassionate environment for their care and that we continue to build upon the service improvements we have made over the last few years."