CQC: 'Failing Leadership' at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust

Nicky Broyd

August 14, 2020

A trust already undergoing a police investigation into baby deaths has again had hospitals rated inadequate with further serious concerns found by inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) undertook 'focused inspections' of medical care and end of life care at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and The Princess Royal Hospital, Telford on 9 and 10 June, after ongoing patient safety concerns.

The Princess Royal remains rated inadequate overall.

The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital moves down from requiring improvement to inadequate overall.

Both were rated inadequate for being safe, effective, responsive and well-led.

The CQC found:

  • Issues it had previously identified had not been addressed

  • Risks were not well managed

  • Patient records did not consistently reflect people’s needs and wishes

  • Some staff did not have the right competencies for their roles

  • Policies and procedures were not always based on the most recent national guidance   

Inspectors were unable to assess the hospitals for caring as they couldn't talk to patients due to COVID-19.

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust (SaTH) has been in special measures since November 2018 and in July a criminal inquiry was announced  into allegations of poor maternity standards at the trust.

Poor Patient Care 'Normalised'

In a statement CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: "We have repeatedly called for intervention to support improvement at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust. Despite this the trust has not resolved long-standing known issues, and poor patient care has been normalised. This situation must not continue."

SaTH promised "immediate action".

Last week it announced an 'improvement alliance' with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust "to provide leadership expertise that will support the Trust to offer clinically safe and sustainable patient services". SaTH Chief Executive Louise Barnett, who joined in February, described the move as "a really positive step forward on our improvement journey".

Prof Baker welcomed the alliance, saying "The trust has not responded satisfactorily to previous enforcement action."

He continued: "This is the first step towards implementing the urgent changes that are required. We will continue to carefully monitor the trust to determine whether this drives the required change and will take further action if there is no progress."

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