Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust chief confident its services are now safe

The chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust responded to the Ockenden report by saying she was confident its services are safe.

Louise Barnett (pictured) also said the organisation, which was under a lot of scrutiny, was getting the support it needed to make further improvements.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Ms Barnett said: “I would like to apologise fully to the families involved for the poor care at this trust and for the pain and distress caused.

“We welcome this report today and the report we’ve had before. We have made changes in our organisation, implementing all of the actions in the first report within our control.

“And we are absolutely committed to implementing the actions in this further report to ensure that we provide the safest possible care for families in our communities.”

Asked about staff comments to the inquiry made in recent weeks, claiming workers had been told not to participate in the Ockenden investigation, Ms Barnett replied: “We are very committed to our culture change programme within the organisation.

“That is at the heart of our plans.

“We have made progress.

“We have more colleagues contributing their ideas and also raising concerns, which we are acting on within the organisation.

“But we do have more to go, and if any person or any member of staff has any concerns, I would really encourage them to raise it through the many routes we have available… so that we can absolutely act on those issues.”

Ms Barnett added that she was unable to provide any information about what levels of compensation had been paid by the trust in respect of its failings, or to how many individuals it had been paid.

Speaking at Shrewsbury Town Football Club, the health trust chief said the Ockenden report would be used to guide future actions.

“We will be focusing on all the areas that have been set out so that we can ensure that our plans are fully comprehensive,” she said.

Staff and families’ voices would be at the heart of the improvement plans, Ms Barnett pledged, adding: “We will continue to build on the progress we have made from the first report to deliver high quality care.

“I believe our services are safe.

“We have made significant investment in our services, we’ve recruited more midwives and consultants, we’ve invested very heavily in training… and also we’ve been very open and transparent about the work we do.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2022, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Jacob King / PA.