The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has continued to hit the local and national headlines for a variety of reasons, including failings in maternity services which have led to reviews over 100 cases of maternity care, with around 200 families having come forward with complaints.
The trust managed to stave off a proposed cut to A&E overnight services by engaging locum and agency staff to cover shortages; more than 3,000 people marched in November to protest the proposed move. A SaTH report on the emergency staffing measures said: ‘While the medical workforce gaps have been closed across all grades, the trust recognises that there are continued risks to sustainability due to the high dependency on locums, particularly at the critical middle tier level.’
The Trust has now been placed in Special Measures by the Care Quality Commission, and local MP Philip Dunne has been in regular contact with senior management at the Trust to establish what steps they are taking. The CQC has told SaTH it must make improvements in 81 specific areas of care. Mr Dunne comments, “I visited the Trust earlier this month and am confident that senior management are working hard to ensure patient safety improves.”
Meanwhile, SaTH received some good news: research shows it’s among the top 20% in the country for making sure patients wait no longer than 18 weeks between seeing their GP and having hospital treatment. SaTH was ranked 21 out of 126 hospital trusts for ensuring patients have planned operations and care within 18 weeks of referral.