Sheffield Teaching Hospital: Trust promises 'immediate action' over staffing and safety after critical inspection

The chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has vowed to do “everything in her power” to address failings brought to light by inspectors in a critical report published today.

Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 7:37 am

The Care Quality Commission has rated the trust as “requires improvement” after a visit in October and November last year found lapses in patient safety and severe staffing concerns.

Kirsten Major, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are all devastated with the outcome of the inspection because there is not one person within the Trust who does not want to do the right thing for our patients and has not worked hard to try and deliver that in exceptional circumstances.

“That is why we are taking it extremely seriously and I will be doing everything in my power to support our staff and make the improvements we need to deliver.

Kirsten Major, Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said she is "devastated" by the findings of a recent inspection

“We have already taken action that will help us improve including recruiting over 500 new nurses who are now working on the wards, and there have been changes to our maternity services including investing in more midwives.

“We are also in the process of buying a new electronic patient record system which once implemented will be less onerous for staff to use and join up different bits of patient information into one place.

“We have listened to feedback from staff and the CQC and are simplifying many of our processes including how incidents are reported and risks are managed so that we can be more responsive and share learning quicker than at present.

“Everyone in the Trust has given their all during the past two years to manage the demands of the pandemic and we are determined to address the issues raised in this report with the same commitment.

“I want to assure our patients that our top priority will always be to do our very best for everyone who needs our care. We are pleased that the CQC felt our staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, worked as a team to benefit patients, were committed to improving services and that we had enough medical staff to care for patients and keep them safe.

“They also recognised that leaders supported staff to develop their skills and infection risks were managed well. Our outcomes for treatment, mortality rates and patient feedback are testament to this, but there is no denying that the last two years have turned so much of what we did as routine on its head. We have asked our staff to rise to unprecedented challenges and change the way they worked on almost a daily basis as COVID surged and declined in waves.

“We have had less staff at times including when the inspection took place because of high staff COVID sickness and there is no doubt that some of our normal ways of working or delivering care suffered because of the focus we had to have on dealing with the immediate crisis in front of us at the same time as continuing to deliver emergency and cancer care plus as many planned operations as we could and leading the vaccination programme for South Yorkshire.”