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Nursing chief at maternity probe trust announces departure

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The director of nursing and midwifery at a hospital trust under investigation for mother and baby deaths has announced her departure.

Deirdre Fowler is leaving Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) to join Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, where she will be director of nursing and patient services.

“My role here has been a challenging one and there have been some very tough times”

Deirdre Fowler

A spokesman for the trust told Nursing Times that Ms Fowler was departing to take up a job closer to home and her resignation was not related to the maternity investigation.

The date of her exit from Shrewsbury and Telford has yet to be confirmed. Ms Fowler joined the trust, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital, in May 2017 from her previous role as director of nursing, midwifery and quality at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust.

In April 2017, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt asked the regulator NHS Improvement to carry out an independent investigation into the way that Shrewsbury and Telford handled a series of potentially avoidable baby and mother deaths and injuries. The review is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the trust was rated “inadequate” overall and by the Care Quality Commission and placed into special measures in November last year.

In its report, the watchdog highlighted concerns about the leadership of the organisation and assessed it to be “inadequate” in this area. 

deirdre fowler

deirdre fowler

Source: Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

Deirdre Fowler

Announcing her departure, Ms Fowler said her role at the trust had been “challenging” but she was proud to have been a part of the team.

“I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t witness, or hear of, something that makes me proud of the tremendous work our teams do every day to provide the best care possible in what can be very difficult circumstances,” she said.

“It will be hard to leave those teams, but I am looking forward to a new challenge with the added attraction that I will be based closer to home,” she said.

Ms Fowler added: “My role here has been a challenging one and there have been some very tough times, but I am very proud to be a part of Team SaTH at a time when a positive decision has been made about the future of our hospitals.”

The trust has recently been given the green light for a major reconfiguration, which will see the Princess Royal dedicated to planned care and the Royal Shrewsbury focused on emergency care.

Ms Fowler said she believed “both as a nurse, midwife and as a service-user” the shake-up of the hospitals was the best way forward to improving healthcare and outcomes for the people they served.

 

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Jackie Smith, ex CEO of NMC did this prior to the report on failings at Morcambe Bay - surely managers should be made to wait until after investigations have been completed and be held to account?

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  • So this resignation is unrelated to her role as head of nursing & midwifery in the problems at Telford. Well I for one totally believe that. I suspect I may be the only one who does...

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