The CQC has taken urgent action to ensure patients’ safety following a series of inspections at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SATH), it said today.
The trust, which was rated as ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC last year, received several unexpected inspections by the healthcare watchdog.
Following a series of concerns highlighted during the latest inspections – which took place between 21 and 31 August – the CQC has placed conditions on the trust’s registration.
The trust will have to provide weekly reports to the CQC, showing that an effective system is in place for clinical management of patients using midwifery services at the trust’s two hospitals, the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) and Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals (RSH).
The unannounced inspections, the last of which took place on 7 September, also raised concerns with regards to SATH’s emergency services and its reduced foetal movement guidelines.
The trust will also have to report weekly to the CQC to demonstrate that its management of deterioration patients and patient with sepsis is effective at both hospitals.
The trust – which recently announced it might temporarily close its PRH A&E department during the winter months due to recruitment issues – has also been asked to show that ‘equipment is stored safely, risk assessments are carried out and reviewed to ensure the environment remains safe, and all staff are aware of and adhere to protocols’.
CQC chief inspector of hospitals Professor Ted Baker said: ‘We are monitoring the trust extremely closely and continue to work with NHS Improvement to ensure patient safety improves. We will return to check on whether sufficient improvements have been made and will take further action if needed.’
‘Immediate action’ taken
In response to the CQC report, the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust said it has taken ‘immediate action’ to address the elements raised in the report.
Deirdre Fowler, director of nursing, midwifery and quality at SATH said: ‘We meet national guidelines in our maternity unit and conduct twice daily consultant led ward rounds.
‘Midwives in Shropshire’s midwifery led units have in the past used cardiotocography to monitor fetal movements and where there has been any cause for concern referred a mother to an obstetrician in the maternity unit in PRH.’
NHS Improvement is currently leading a Government-mandated review into the deaths and injuries of babies and mothers who were cared for at the trust’s maternity unit between 1998 and 2017.
With regards to the emergency department, SATH medical director Dr Edwin Borman said: ‘We have implemented an action plan that focuses on the areas highlighted by the CQC, including the effective monitoring of patients that may be at risk of sepsis.’