Council welcomes alliance to help hospital trust out of special measures

Telford & Wrekin Council has welcomed a new improvement alliance offering support to the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) which is in special measures.

From 1 September, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), rated Outstanding by the Care Quality for Leadership by the Care Quality Commission, will provide targeted support to improve services at SaTH.

SaTH’s Chair, Ben Reid is stepping down and is being replaced by Dr Catriona McMahon who has been a Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director at UHB since 2014.

Councillor Andy Burford, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “I welcome this new alliance. It is an arrangement we had long called for. 

“It is important that SaTH takes full advantage of the expertise to be offered by UHB for the ultimate benefit of their patients here in Telford and Wrekin, as well as the rest of Shropshire and mid Wales.

“It must begin with getting the basics right and must lead to the best possible healthcare, which is what SaTH’s patients deserve.

“Although UHB will be offering its expertise, it is important that SaTH does retain its independence and accountability to the public and keeps its local services. It mustn’t be allowed to become an extension of Birmingham.

“We will be monitoring performance and I look forward to seeing significant improvements as a result of this alliance.”

Councillor Shaun Davies, Telford & Wrekin Council Leader, added: “We should use this as an opportunity to pause and review the ‘Future Fit’ reconfiguration of hospital services which would see a downgrade of Telford’s Accident and Emergency Centre as it currently stands and the moving of the consultant-led Women & Children’s Centre to Shrewsbury.

“We should look to use the investment, in the form of a government loan, to get high quality care in both of SaTH’s hospitals, in Telford and Shrewsbury. It is also important to invest in high quality community care to help prevent hospital admissions in the first place; something not addressed in the ‘Future Fit’ plans.

“Dr McMahon’s appointment as Chair of SaTH makes her the third Chair in less than four years. I’ll be asking for an urgent meeting with her and look forward to working with her.

“Staff, patients and our community deserve the best possible healthcare and that’s what everyone should work for. That’s what we want.” 

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