• Fresh concerns over the treatment of mental health patients at Shrewsbury and Telford trust
  • CQC has served a new warning notice
  • Follows string of serious failures at the trust
  • Has received five or more warning notices since summer last year

Inspectors have taken fresh urgent action at a severely troubled hospital trust, citing major concerns about treatment of mental health patients in its emergency department, HSJ  can reveal.

The Care Quality Commission has taken urgent action against Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust over a range of serious concerns it found on recent inspections.

HSJ  has learned that staff were carrying out rapid tranquillisation of mental health patients in the trust’s emergency services, and not subsequently carrying out observations on them.

Multiple sources told HSJ  the CQC found the trust was using “inappropriate” restraint techniques and leaving mental health patients unsupervised in accident and emergency corridors. 

The new concerns over the treatment of mental health patients in the emergency department are detailed in a warning notice letter, known as a section 31 notice, sent to the trust last Friday.

The revelation comes with the CQC due to publish its latest report on maternity services at the trust tomorrow, which does not include the issues detailed above.

This is at least the fifth formal warning the trust has received from the CQC since summer last year.

Previous letters warned the provider about safety issues with its emergency departments, and maternity, paediatric and acute medical wards.

One warning letter, revealed by HSJ, exposed serious concerns over the “boarding” of patients, in which the CQC said staff had claimed patients were being treated like “cattle”.

The news also follows recent high-profile revelations about an ongoing review of more than 800 cases of alleged poor maternity care at the trust.

The review, being carried out by Donna Ockenden, has so far identified poor care in relation to the deaths of at least 42 children. 

The CQC said it could not comment as the warning notice is still subject to a 28 day legal process.  


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