8 April 2020

The Trust that runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals continues to be rated ‘Inadequate’ from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection in November 2019.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH), is rated ‘Inadequate’ overall for Safe, Effective, Responsive and Well-Led, and rated ‘Requires Improvement’ for Caring.

Areas of ‘Outstanding Practice’ were, however, recognised in Outpatients at PRH, where a nurse-led wound clinic to provide continuity of care for patients has freed-up space in other clinics, and in surgery at RSH where the inspection team saw examples of “excellent support for patients living with dementia on most wards”.

Improvements have been recognised in maternity services, including staff treating women with compassion and kindness, respecting their privacy and dignity, and taking account of their individual needs.

Chief Executive Louise Barnett, who joined SaTH in February 2020, has described the determination of the Trust’s leadership team to make the necessary changes to improve.

Louise said: “The Trust was already well-sighted on the issues raised and we know the improvements we need to make. We welcome the feedback from the CQC and we will build on this to make the sustainable changes needed to ensure the consistent delivery of safe, high-quality care that the people of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales deserve.

“The Trust faces significant challenges, however since joining SaTH I have met some really inspiring people and have seen first-hand examples of excellent work from individuals and teams who are passionate about what they do and the care they provide. It is going to take time but we are absolutely determined to get this right for our patients, their families and our staff.”

The improvements made in maternity have been recognised, with the service now graded as being ‘Good’ for Caring, Effectiveness and Responsiveness. This is an improvement in the ratings for Safe and Effective compared with the previous inspection.

Louise said: “We are pleased the CQC has recognised improvements in our maternity services. A huge amount of work has been done to get to where we are now, however we recognise there is more to do and we are working hard to address the outstanding areas of concern to ensure all of our women and their families receive the very best possible care. These learnings will help us to drive further changes across the organisation.”

Today the CQC also published their focussed inspection on SaTH’s urgent and emergency services for RSH and PRH, which took place on 17 and 18 February 2020, both of which were rated as ‘Inadequate’.

Louise said: “We take the feedback from the CQC extremely seriously. We will continue to work closely with our staff, patients and our regulators to improve the quality of care for all of our patients.

“Our staff work extremely hard in the face of increasing demand and we are supporting them through strengthened leadership, training and development, and further recruitment so that together we can provide the high standards of care to which we aspire every day.”

Louise added: “Clearly we need to improve. However, it is important that we do not lose sight of the things we do well. We are currently dealing with a global pandemic and a national emergency. The challenges being faced across the country, and here in Shropshire, are significant. None of us have ever faced anything like this.

“Teams right across our Trust are working incredibly hard to ensure we are prepared and that our patients are well cared for. This is only possible because of the incredible commitment and professionalism being shown by our 6,000 members of staff and our volunteers who support them every day. I would like to personally recognise and thank our staff for their amazing commitment and the way in which they are pulling together, and I am sure by continuing to work together we can make the improvements required for all our patients and families.”

The report is available online at www.cqc.org.uk