Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust rated inadequate after maternity ‘failure’
An NHS trust placed into special measures earlier this month has now been rated “inadequate” by independent inspectors.
A senior midwife was appointed at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) last year to review more than 100 alleged cases of poor maternity care.
Now the health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, has found problems in 81 areas, including emergency care and midwifery staffing levels.
It also said the trust must review how it monitors high-risk pregnancies and babies’ heartbeats.
Sharon Morris gave birth to identical twins Beth and Olivia 13 years ago at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
Olivia was left severely disabled after staff failed to recognise she was in distress.
“I’m speechless they haven’t learned any lessons,” Ms Morris told Sky News.
“Things are still the same – nothing has changed. How does that look to the public if you live in a rural area where we can’t go anywhere else? Parents must be terrified.”
Trust chief executive Simon Wright apologised for its lack of progress but urged people “not to lose sight” of things it does well.
Mr Wright said: “You cannot be unaffected by a report like this. I’m sorry and disappointed that we have not made as much progress to tackle the issues and challenges that the trust faces as we all want.
“But people should not lose sight of many things that SaTH does not just do well but significantly better than many other trusts around the country.
“I know how hard staff are working, how passionate they are about what they do and the care they provide.
“We will take to heart the CQC’s findings just as we welcome the extra support that is coming with special measures, to double down on the need to get things right and improve for the people we serve.”
But Richard Stanton, whose daughter Kate died in the care of the trust after a catalogue of serious failings, said management had been “irresponsible”.
“It’s still incredibly raw,” he said.
“I can still feel the weight of Kate in my arms as they unplugged the cables; I can still hear my wife’s unbelievable roar when she was told.
“Nine and a half years on it is still heartbreaking, and what makes it worse is that this trust denied and lied and refused to give us answers all the way along – it’s compounded our grief and made it torturous.
“There are people in this trust, and that remain in this trust, that have been promoted and rewarded for failure.
“They have got some serious questions to answer.”