Royal Wolverhampton Trust will be unable to achieve foundation status for about at least six months after a Care Quality Commission inspection raised concerns about staffing levels.

The inspection, which took place in late September, found that at night on some wards there was only one registered nurse for every 10 patients.

A spokesman for the NHS Trust Development Authority, the organisation responsible for managing providers on their journey to foundation status, told HSJ the hospital would have to demonstrate it had resolved the issues highlighted by the CQC for its application to progress.

This assurance would be achieved by a second CQC inspection, to occur within six months, the spokesman said.

Cheryl Etches, the trust’s deputy chief executive and chief nursing officer, told HSJ the provider had received “no clarification” from the TDA or Monitor about when its application would be “reactivated”.

“We’re waiting to hear how the TDA and Monitor assess the inspection to decide whether the report warrants the organisation to move forward in the FT process,” she said.

The inspection of the trust’s main site, New Cross Hospital, took place as part of the CQC’s new hospital inspection regime. It found that patients were generally receiving good quality services. However, the CQC’s report flagged low staffing levels on elderly care and maternity wards, particularly at night.

Ms Etches said issues raised “were not a surprise” and the trust already had actions in place to address the shortfalls.

“It’s timely that our staffing plan is coming together at the same time as the CQC report,” she added. “If you waited for the CQC report and then started to undertake a staffing exercise it would take you months, so we’re fortunate that we’re ahead of the curve on that.”