We were dismayed by your coverage of the inquest of Mrs Slatter, (Hereford Times July 14).

Reporting of inquests is a staple diet for local newspapers, but your headline will have caused alarm and worry. This, and the article itself, masked the fact that trust staff took all the steps they should have and did their best for Mrs Slatter in what was a very busy A&E department.

Readers are left to read the reality of the case in the final two paragraphs, where the Coroner states that an early CT scan would not have made any difference to the outcome.

Of even more concern, however, is your misinformed opinion piece.

This paints a deeply misleading picture of the trust seemingly based on a single incident. It seriously undermines the dedication and huge amounts of effort from the trust’s hard working staff who have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of services during the last two years.

Were we to take the same stance, we could claim we provide a “gold standard” service based on a single letter from a patient carried just five columns away in

the same edition of your paper.

During the last two years a great deal has changed in the A&E dept at Hereford County Hospital:

These improvements are mirrored across the Trust and we’ve been pleased to have had the CQC inspectors with us at the start of July to show them the changes we have made.

To say very little has changed at Hereford County Hospital over the last two years is both disingenuous and an insult to our staff. It’s harmed their reputation and undermines the huge efforts they put in daily to improve the quality of services as they care for local people.

And all based on a single incident.

We’re not perfect and of course there are areas where we need to improve.

In the spirit openness we welcome fair and accurate reporting and I personally invite you to visit the hospital so I can show you the many improvements that we have made, and are making.

Of course, we cannot overlook the fact that at the heart of this issue is a grieving family, and the Trust’s thoughts are with them at this time.

Richard Beeken

Chief Executive