Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust investigated over baby deaths has a “culture of bullying and harassment”

  • November 29, 2018
  • Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) has today been rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The trust was last inspected in December 2016 and had already received an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ for safety, responsiveness and leadership. The two hospitals under the trust’s control have had their emergency and maternity units declared as unsafe.

    Following this inspection, the CQC has taken action to protect members of the public using SaTH’s urgent and emergency services and maternity services by placing conditions on the trust’s registration. Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said:

    “We will continue to work with NHS Improvement with regard to the trust. This trust must take action to ensure it makes all improvements necessary to give patients the standard of safe care they should be able to expect. We will return to check on progress with those improvements.”

    CQC Report

    The report identifies a total of 81 issues at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital with the trust having to:

    • Ensure sufficient and suitably qualified and trained staff are available to care for and protect people from the risk of harm;
    • Review and improve midwifery staffing levels to meet the needs of women and keep women and babies safe;
    • Review the processes around escalating women who are at high risk so that women who present at the midwifery led unit or day assessment unit receive a medical review without delay; and
    • Review its policy on reduced foetal movements so there is a clear and defined pathway for midwives and sonographers to follow.

    This increased level of scrutiny comes after it was reported last year that SaTH was being investigated for failures in its maternity care. 215 families are thought to have raised concerns about the level of care provided.

    Commenting on staffing at the trust it was found that “a culture of defensiveness exists from the executive team” with low morale and high levels of stress amongst staff. A temporary midwifery unit at Shrewsbury was deemed unfit for purpose having been opened due to snow damaging the original building in December 2017.

    What our specialists have to say

    Inez Brown, Partner and Head of Clinical Negligence from Medical Accident Group said:

    “This 112 page report offers a damning assessment of the persistent failures at this trust. The initial review into baby deaths started at 23 and the scope of the review has been widened four times to a total of 215 complaints. Whilst it is difficult to comment on this ongoing investigation, today’s report highlights failures at the trust which may have resulted in negligent treatment at its two hospitals. Better training and increased levels of scrutiny are required to give members of the public confidence that these services are in fact safe to use.”

    As a highly experienced firm with expert teams based in Birmingham and Worcester, we have secured awards for many clients following negligent medical treatment. If you or a member of your family have suffered from poor medical treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. Our team of specialist medical negligence solicitors have over 30 years’ experience. We will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668.


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