Children are leaving A&E departments at Shropshire’s two main hospitals without being given the appropriate clinical assessment, inspectors have found.

Too many patients are also being left too long to be seen by hospital staff, while there is insufficient protection for patients with mental health issues, the Care Quality Commission has found.

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals said he has taken urgent action to protect people at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, following inspections at its emergency departments. 

The CQC carried out unannounced focused inspections of the trust’s urgent and emergency care at the Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on April 15 and 16.

These inspections follow an inspection of the departments in August 2018, which led to CQC imposing conditions on the trust’s registration to protect people’s safety.  

Inspectors also found that the trust’s monitoring of people suspected of having sepsis was not always robust enough, an issue identified during CQC’s inspection of the departments last year.  

As a result of April’s inspections, CQC has placed new conditions on the trust’s registration. 

These conditions include requiring the trust to implement an effective system to assess all children presenting at its emergency departments within 15 minutes of arrival. 

The trust must also ensure it has the right numbers and mix of staff on duty to undertake triage and escalate clinical risks in a timely way. 

The CQC requires the trust to provide weekly updates, detailing the progress of the steps it has instructed the trust take. 

This report must include information about any children who left the emergency departments without being seen, as well as details of any follow-up or harm arising from this.

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “We still have concerns about the emergency departments at the Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. 

“This is why we have imposed further urgent conditions on the trust’s registration to safeguard patients. 

“The conditions require the trust to report to CQC weekly, detailing the action it is taking to improve and ensure the safety of patients using its emergency departments.

“We will continue to monitor the trust extremely closely, and continue to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement to secure the required improvements. We will return to check whether sufficient improvements have been made, and we will not hesitate to take further action if needed.”

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is currently rated as Inadequate overall.