"Close Mid Staffs Trust" say administrators


According to Trust Special Administrators (TSA) Mid Stafford Hospital Trust is not "clinically or financially sustainable" and ought to be dissolved.

Medical Negligence

The TSA said that critical care, maternity and paediatric services should also be cut.

Damning reports

The Mid Stafford Trust has been in administration since April following the damning findings of an independent report. It provided healthcare for some 276,500 people in Stafford, Cannock, Rugeley and nearby districts.

The Francis inquiry highlighted Stafford Hospital's "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people". This was followed more recently by the Keogh report into preventable deaths at 14 NHS trusts in England, among them Mid Staffs.

According to the Support Stafford Hospital campaign spokesman Rowan Draper, "obvious proposals" had been made, including dissolution of the Trust. However, Mr Draper expressed disappointment that the paediatric and maternity units would also be lost.

Change essential

However, Alan Bloom of the TSA said the administrators' proposals were based on the fact that change is essential if services are to remain safe.

"I think people's worst fears might have been 3 to 6 months ago that we wouldn't even have a hospital here today, let alone the level of acute services and A&E services we are going to have," Mr Bloom said.

"Reasons are financial"

For the Opposition, Lord Hunt said he thought the Trust might have been saved if more could have been done.

"I feel really sorry for the people of Stafford because they are going to lose some of their essential services like maternity and critical care," Lord Hunt said. "It does seem that some of the reasons are financial and I think the great pity is the government has spent £3billion in the last year on an unnecessary reorganisation."

A Department of Health spokesman said the Government wanted patients, staff, residents and the public to air their views about the TSA proposals, adding: "We will… carefully consider the recommendations when we receive them."

Stafford Hospital – the recommendations

The recommendations for Stafford Hospital include:
  • Closure of maternity ward
  • Downgrading of critical care unit and some emergency surgery
  • Seriously-ill children to go to Stoke-on-Trent, not Stafford
  • Some minor surgery to Cannock and Stafford hospitals, with more patients sent there to recover from complex procedures
  • 'Frail Elderly Assessment Service' – various sources of information on elderly needs on referral

After a public consultation, which will end on 1 October, these recommendations will go to the Health Regulator Monitor, then to the Health Secretary by the end of 2013.

On Department of Health approval, the recommendations will be in place by 2018.

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