• Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust to be placed into special measures by NHS Improvement 
  • The news follows three enforcement action notices from the Care Quality Commission raising concerns about the quality and safety of the trust services 
  • The results of the trust’s CQC inspection, carried out in August, are yet to be published 

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is set to be placed into “special measures” by NHS Improvement, HSJ has learned.

The under-fire trust has received three enforcement action notices from the Care Quality Commission in recent months raising concerns about the safety of its services, following an inspection in August this year. 

However the CQC, which rated the provider “requires improvement” last year, is yet to publish the results of its most recent inspection. 

But the trust is now set to be placed into special measures by NHS Improvement. Typically, this would happen in cases where the trust has been, or is due to be, rated “inadequate” by the CQC.

In a letter to MP Lucy Allen, seen by HSJ, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am writing to inform you that, following recent difficulties experienced by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, NHS Improvement has decided to place the trust into special measures.

“It is clearly disappointing to see the trust being placed in special measures. However, in light of ongoing concerns about the trust’s quality and performance and recent concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission, I believe that this is the right decision to take to ensure safe services for patients.”

Services highlighted in the CQC’s three enforcement action notices as areas of concern were; the emergency department, maternity, intensive care and medical wards.

The news comes amid an external review being carried out into the provider’s maternity services, in which more than 100 cases of potentially poor care are being investigated.

Last month the trust board announced intentions to close its Telford A&E due to concerns around the safety of its services and low staffing.

HSJ has also reported on concerns raised by staff to the leader of Telford Council, claiming poor culture and bullying issues within the trust.

Professor Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals for the Care Quality Commission, said: “Our inspection report on Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is currently with the trust for factual accuracy checks and we will be publishing it as soon as this process has been completed.

”Today I wrote to the chief executive of NHS Improvement to say that I anticipated that I would be making a formal recommendation of special measures upon publication of the report. I believe there is sufficient evidence that the trust will not be able to make all the necessary improvements in the quality of their services without external support and I asked NHS Improvement to put in place all necessary support without delay.”

Simon Wright, chief executive for Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, said: “The trust is trying to fix a number of legacy problems in the way its services are delivered. These issues have been many years in the making. This is a huge challenge and putting things right is not an easy matter.

“Over the last few weeks we have been discussing with NHS Improvement what extra support could be made available if the trust was placed in special measures. We absolutely welcome that extra support that comes with special measures and NHS Improvement’s support for the trust’s leadership to make the necessary improvements.”

Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: ”While Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust has been working through its many challenges, it is important that the trust is able to deliver the high-quality care that patients deserve. The time is right to ramp up our help by placing the trust in special measures. We know that the trust welcomes this decision and shares our commitment to turn around its performance and quality concerns for the benefit of patients and the wider community.”

 This article was updated at 9:50 on 09/11/2018, with a comment from NHS Improvement and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust.