29 November 2018 | Firm news | Article by Nick O’Neill

Further failings at NHS trust under review for baby deaths

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (the Trust), which is already in “special measures,” has now been rated “inadequate” in a recent report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  The report confirms that services are neither safe, well-led or effective for patients; a finding that will no doubt concern many in the community.

As part of the inspection, the CQC reviewed processes around escalating women in labour who are deemed high risk to ensure urgent medical review, in addition to the Trust’s policy on fetal movements.  The inspectors found medical and nurse staffing "was not adequate to keep patients safe," with there being a shortage of midwives.

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at CQC, said: “We remain very concerned about the emergency department and maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.”

The finding comes after intense scrutiny of the maternity services and what action has been taken to improve such services at the Trust.  The report highlights a catalogue of issues, with the Trust previously being rated as “requires improvement” overall.  The latest report indicates not only is the Trust not learning from its previous mistakes but perhaps more worryingly, that care is continuing to decline.

The Chief Executive of Trust, Simon Wright said:

“It is, of course, incredibly disappointing and painful to hear our Trust rated ‘inadequate’ by the QC… I’m sorry and disappointed that we have not made as much progress to tackle the issues.”

It was further acknowledged by Deirdre Fowler, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality that, “we know we have work to do to address concerns the CQC has raised.”

The CQC has demanded a significant number of improvements be made including reviewing midwife staffing levels to keep women and babies safe.

The Trust is currently being investigated over alleged maternity failings, with more than 200 families raising concerns about care at the Trust.  The CQC report comes 3 weeks after the Trust was put into “special measures.”  The report will no doubt make difficult reading for those families who have been affected by treatment as a result of errors by the Trust.

What to do?

It is important that families who have questions or concerns over care provided are given the chance to have them explored.  The trust has asked anyone concerned about their maternity services to contact them on 01743 261691.

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