IN-PATIENT coronavirus screenings were missed, contributing to a spate of outbreaks at the county’s hospitals, a report says.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust Nursing Director Hayley Flavell says the tests are supposed to take place on the day of admission and the fifth day after, but were “missed in some areas”.

In an “Infection Prevention and Control Report”, due to go before the trust’s board next week, Ms Flavell adds some patients were “moved before the screening result was known”.

Ten wards were among the areas across both sites saw that saw Covid-19 outbreaks in October and November, she writes.

An action plan is in force following the outbreaks, and includes a review of PPE use and practices, “proactive and reactive staff and patient screening” and “enhanced cleaning” measures.

In a separate report, also prepared for the December 8 meeting, SaTH Chief Executive Louise Barnett writes: “The trust, and its regional partners, have experienced severe pressures due to both the onset of winter and the escalating numbers of Covid patients attending hospital which, at one stage during wave two, stood at over 80 positive patients.”

“The number of patients who are Covid-positive has now reduced.”

Ms Flavell writes that, as of November 16, there were 72 Covid-positive patients; 39 at the PRH and 33 at the RSH.

Ms Flavell writes: “During October and November 2020 the trust has seen a number of outbreaks relating to Covid-19 at both hospital sites.”

She adds that an “outbreak” is defined by Public Health England as two or more confirmed or suspected cases associated with a specific setting, like a ward or other shared space.

The first outbreak was declared across two wards, incorporating the stroke unit, at the RSH.

“Further outbreaks were subsequently reported for wards six, seven and nine at the Princess Royal Hospital,” Ms Flavell adds.

“A subsequent outbreak was declared for ward 27 at the RSH on October 28.”

Outbreaks on four more wards at the RSH and one at the PRH followed in November.

“The outbreaks on the wards related to both patient and staff cases,” she writes, adding that only one of the three identified staff outbreaks resulted from a breach in social distancing.

Outbreak meetings chaired by Ms Flavell found that the admission-day and day-five screenings were “missed in some areas” and some patients were “moved before the screening result was known”.

The investigation also found “positive patients are generating large numbers of ‘contacts'”, there are not enough “isolation facilities” on trust sites, and “some issues have been identified with deep cleaning of areas and sign-off of this”, Ms Flavell adds.