We welcomed the publication of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report this week which shows that our Trust has improved its overall rating from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’.

This is positive news and shows the good progress taking place at the Trust, but we recognise that we have more to do.

We are now rated as ‘good’ for ‘caring’. The ‘safe’ and ‘responsive’ domains, previously rated as ‘inadequate’, are now rated as ‘requires improvement’. The ‘effective’ and ‘well-led’ domains remain rated as ‘requires improvement’.

This is following on from inspections at the end of last year. Improvements were noted for the Children and Young People Service; End of Life Care at both hospitals, including mention of dedicated end of life care champions on every ward; maternity services with staff being described as friendly and helpful.

We always strive to put patient experience at the heart of everything we do and this was recognised by the CQC, as well as our commitment and desire to improve.

Although we made progress, there were several areas identified in the inspection where action and improvement are still needed including improving urgent and emergency care services at both hospital sites, supporting the privacy and dignity of patients in certain areas, improving flow and reducing waiting times.

Our communities deserve the best possible care and working with partners, we will continue to focus on improving all areas.

It is so important that we continue to work with and listen to our patients, their families and loved ones, and others in our community.

Through feedback we can see the experience of the patient through their eyes and build on everything we are told.

My colleagues have worked hard, leading improvements and learning continuously, despite the significant pressures they face.

I would like to thank them for the compassion and care they continue to show to our patients and their loved ones.

This week has also seen some blood test services at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford relocating to support and improve waiting times for patients who need urgent care.

The services have now moved from the Mallings Health Building to the Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) in Telford.

Patients still have a choice of where they have their blood tests – the CDC, Elizabeth House at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Whitchurch Community Hospital.

The relocation of these services means that part of the Mallings Health Building is now being used for the treatment of patients with minor illnesses to reduce waiting times.

There will be no change for patients requiring urgent and emergency care at PRH and they should continue to attend the Emergency Department to be assessed as they do now.

Visit NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 for medical problems that aren’t life threatening but require immediate help, and you are not sure what to do.

Further information about blood tests, and the community booking service, is available on the SaTH website – Book a blood test online – SaTH.

If patients are unable to attend their blood test appointment, please use the cancellation link in their booking confirmation email or ring the booking line on 01743 492510 (Monday to Friday – 9am-4pm).