University Hospitals Birmingham Trust steps in to help improve Shropshire hospitals

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The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has entered into an Improvement Alliance with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) will provide leadership expertise that will support The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) to offer clinically safe and sustainable patient services.

The chair of SaTH, Ben Reid, has decided to step down from the role which he has held since 2018.

Dr Catriona McMahon will now lead SaTH, a physician with over 16 years’ experience in pharmaceutical medicine she has been a Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director at UHB since 2014.

The new alliance will be time-limited and will set up a ‘Committees in Common’ structure to enable the development and delivery of a rapid quality improvement plan. The strategic relationship will address the governance and leadership issues to make the necessary service improvements at SaTH.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust leadership

The alliance will come into effect from 1 September, which will see UHB provide leadership capacity and capability to SaTH in order to deliver the necessary improvements in patient safety and service quality.

Dr Nigel Sturrock, Regional Medical Director for NHS Improvement (NHSI) in the Midlands, said: “The challenges facing SaTH are complex and substantial. To achieve the improvements that patients rightly expect, the Trust needs the strong support of the surrounding system. As a leading teaching hospital with outstanding leadership, UHB is well placed to provide the wide range of expertise needed to address some of the key patient safety and quality challenges faced by SaTH.”

SaTH is currently rated as ‘Inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission. It was put into special measures by NHS improvement in November 2018, meaning inspectors no longer trusted it to run itself alone.

Strengthened package of support

Facilitated by NHS Improvement (NHSI) in the Midlands, the Improvement Alliance is part of the strengthened package of support for SaTH, announced last month.

Louise Barnett, Chief Executive of SaTH, who joined the Trust in February 2020, has welcomed the support.

She said: “I welcome the creation of this Improvement Alliance and the opportunity to work with our colleagues at UHB to improve patient safety and quality of care for patients and families in the communities we serve. SaTH cannot accomplish the necessary transformation alone and the provision of this extra expertise will be a really positive step forward on our improvement journey.”

Dr David Rosser, Chief Executive of UHB, said: “We are looking forward to working with colleagues at SaTH in this new Improvement Alliance. I believe that this development should give confidence to the people served by SaTH that improvements in patient safety and quality of care will be delivered.”

Dr McMahon said: “I am delighted to be the new Chair at SaTH and look forward to working with my Board colleagues, Louise and her team, as well as everyone who works for SaTH to deliver improvements. In particular, I believe patient safety and quality of care will be improved with this strategic Improvement Alliance. I am determined to work hard to provide the right strategic leadership to ensure the whole team can be successful.”

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