Patients waiting hours in ambulances outside scandal-hit hospital

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Elderly patients at a hospital plagued by care scandals were being kept in ambulances outside A&E for hours, a report has revealed.

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A report published on Thursday gave the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust an inadequate rating by the Care Quality Commission care watchdog for the third time since 2018.

However, the CQC found that the hospital had improved its services, which “will lay the foundation for substantial improvements in patient care.”


During inspections in July and August this year, the care watchdog found that patients were waiting for hours for evaluation upon arrival at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, with one patient waiting more than five hours.

Inspectors also found patients waiting for long periods in the back of ambulances. In one incident, the CQC reported that an elderly patient with a hip fracture had waited in an ambulance for more than three hours, “between two and three hours before several other patients over the age of 75 reached the emergency department.” had waited.”

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Earlier it was found that the trust had left patients in the corridors while waiting, but a change in approach meant they were left waiting in the ambulance.

The report on SATH comes amid growing concerns over delays in the ambulance sector, driven by long waits for ambulances to hand over patients to A&E.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is one of the worst offenders for delays in handing over ambulances in the West Midlands. According to the CQC, the percentage of patients who waited more than 60 minutes in an ambulance outside A&E in SATH was higher than the average for hospitals in the Midlands and England.

However, in its report, the CQC said: “While senior department staff did not want patients awaiting transfer to the emergency department to be allowed to be monitored by a paramedic.”

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is at the center of the biggest maternity scandal in history. A final report from an independent investigation led by Donna Oakenden into more than 1,200 allegations of harm to the trust is due to be published later this year.

In its report, the CQC again raised concerns about the level of safety of maternity staff in the trust, but identified a number of improvements.

It said: “Midwifery staff showed resilience as they were able to continue providing women and infants with a high standard of care and maintained a positive and caring attitude during extremely challenging circumstances.

“The Department of Obstetrics was under considerable scrutiny following the publication of the first OKENDEN Review (Granthshala Review of Maternity Services) and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was in addition to the ongoing challenges of maternity service with the stability of the senior maternity leadership team that further impacted the workforce.

Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals for CQC, said: “I recognize that NHS services across the country are under enormous pressure and that while normal expectations cannot always be maintained, it is important that they address the risk to patient safety. Do everything they can to reduce them in the face of these pressures.

“Despite these pressures, the trust has made progress. It has benefited from more effective leadership that has helped drive improvements, and a better understanding of the challenges it faces.

“However, its risk management remains inconsistent and we are not convinced that it is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of people.

“This particularly pertains to urgent and emergency care at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, where people do not always receive a timely assessment to identify their needs, meaning that staff were not aware that people were receiving immediate treatment. is required or not.”

SATH Chief Executive Officer Louise Barnett said: “In incredibly difficult circumstances, progress has been made in key areas and much has been done to improve the way we work and care. Our team has taken tremendous dedication and care. commitment and I want to thank them for their exceptionally hard work to bring about these positive changes.

“However, the report also corroborates the amount that is still pending on the reformation journey of the Trust. We are committed to building on and using this progress, and use the report as a step in providing excellent care across all of our services to patients and families in our communities. ,


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