Shrewsbury and Telford NHS trust requires improvement, says CQC

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Image caption The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital's mortuary arrangements concerned inspectors

Hospital inspectors have ordered Shropshire's main health trust to improve a number of its services.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it found "considerable pressure" on nurses at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospitals Trust due to staffing issues.

Overall, it found the trust required improvement in four out of five areas.

Chief executive Peter Herring said the report showed services had significantly improved since two years ago but there was a "long way to go".

In its report, the CQC said the trust, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal, needed to review staffing levels in its A&E critical care, labour ward and end-of-life services departments.

'Caring staff'

Inspectors said the trust had begun to make improvements to its end-of-life services, but said there were concerns about the safety and effectiveness of mortuary arrangements, particularly at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

"Deceased patients," they said, "were not protected against the risks associated with unsafe or unsuitable premises because of inadequate maintenance of the fridge storage area."

The report also said "enormous pressure" on beds was found to be "impacting on the trust's ability to see patients in a timely manner in A&E".

It found the department had regularly breached the government's four-hour waiting target for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours.

However, the health watchdog found staff across both of the trust's main hospitals were caring, and rated its services in this respect as good.

Mr Herring said the "fair and balanced" report included some "real highlights" but also some "uncomfortable reading".

He added inspectors had visited at a particularly busy time in October last year, when demand on services was high and industrial action was taking place.

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