The Trust in charge of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in Shropshire and The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford has been placed into ‘special measures’ amid ongoing concerns over the standard of treatment provided at both sites, as claims for clinical negligence continue to mount.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) will now receive support and ‘enhanced oversight’ from NHS Improvement. It is said to be the first time a Trust has been put into special measures without a recommendation from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The Trust had already been reporting to the CQC on a weekly basis, and it’s understood that the CQC are supportive of the steps taken.
Both the maternity and emergency units at the Trust have come under heavy criticism. The former is the subject of a much-publicised review into baby deaths at the Trust, thought to affect more than 100 families.
Last week, more than 3,000 people attended a march to protest against a decision to shut the A&E department in Telford at night; the Trust have blamed staff shortages for its proposed decision to close the unit overnight. Staffing levels do seem to be a problem at the Trust, as it was only this week that the CQC issued a warning to the Trust about staff levels in critical care.
The Health Secretary and local politicians have taken the decision to put the Trust into special measures, taking the decision out of the hands of the CQC. This unprecedented step shows a clear lack of confidence in management at the Trust. We can only hope that the extra support and supervision from NHS Improvement leads to rapid and effective change at this local Trust.
Joseph Norton, Head of Compensation