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Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust: continuing concerns about quality of care

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) today published a report rating the services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust as ‘inadequate’.

The report follows inspections carried out at the Trust between 21 August and 21 September 2018. The findings are particularly troubling for the Trust as it has recently been put into special measures by NHS Improvement and an investigation is being carried out in connection with the performance of maternity and emergency services.

The CQC inspected the core services of medical care, surgery, critical care and maternity care at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and also inspected medical care, surgery and critical care at The Princess Royal Hospital.

In four of the services inspected, the Trust was found to be inadequate. In many of the services inspected the Trust was found to require improvement. Within maternity services in particular, the CQC highlighted a number of actions that the Trust must take to improve, including ensuring that:

  • handovers are completed regularly
  • high-risk women in labour are reviewed by medical staff
  • all staff complete Cardiotocography (CTG) training

This latter recommendation is particularly familiar to Shoosmiths. CTG is a technical means of recording the fetal heartbeat during pregnancy and it was the failure by staff to interpret a CTG trace correctly that meant there was a delay in delivering James Robshaw, which resulted in him suffering severe cerebral palsy.

The CQC will continue to monitor the safety and quality of the services provided by the Trust with regular inspections.

Amy Greaves, a solicitor in the medical negligence team, commented:

‘The findings of the CQC in relation to the maternity care are particularly concerning as many of the action points relate to high risk women in labour where fast and effective treatment can make a huge difference to the ultimate outcome.’

Kashmir Uppal, who has spoken about this Trust previously, said:

‘These findings of the CQC show that the concerns and investigations currently surrounding the Trust are an ongoing issue and not historic. It is important action is taken as soon as possible to ensure patient safety and to avoid any unnecessary harm.’

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