Mid Staffordshire is First NHS Foundation Trust to go into Administration

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Mid Staffordshire has become the first NHS Foundation Trust to go into administration, the health regulator Monitor announced yesterday.

Medical Hospital Complaints

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust will be run by 2 specially appointed administrators to "safeguard the future of health services" currently provided.

A report for Monitor, written by a panel including Dr Mascie-Taylor in February, said services at the Trust were "unsustainable".

It recommended the closure of its maternity unit, intensive care unit and accident and emergency department.

It said services could instead be provided at neighbouring trusts including the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, the Royal Wolverhampton or Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

Clinician Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor and Alan Bloom, of Ernst and Young, will take over the running of the Trust on Tuesday and will have 145 working days to design a model for services which is "sustainable in the long term". The plan would be subject to a public consultation and the trust's hospitals in Stafford and Cannock will continue to operate as normal until it is approved.

South London Healthcare NHS Trust last year became the first trust to enter administration after accounts showed it was losing £1.3 million a week, but Mid Staffordshire is the first with prestigious "foundation" status to do so.

Mid Staffordshire, one of the smallest trusts in the country, providing healthcare for people in Stafford, Cannock, Rugeley and the surrounding areas, was known to be in financial trouble and last year was given £20 million by the Department of Health to keep services going.

Monitor said the administrators were appointed after it was concluded the Trust, which also runs Cannock Chase Hospital, was "neither clinically nor financially sustainable in its current form".

In the order laid before Parliament, Monitor said Mid Staffordshire "is, or is likely to become, unable to pay its debts".

The regulator said: "Monitor took the decision to make the appointment after experts in a contingency planning team concluded that the trust was neither clinically nor financially sustainable in its current form."

David Bennett, Monitor's chief executive, said: "We have taken this decision to make sure that patients in the Mid Staffordshire area have the services they need in the future."

"It is now the role of the trust special administrators to work with the local community to decide the best way of delivering these services."

The Support Stafford campaign group said it would be holding a march in the town centre on Saturday against the current proposals.

Cheryl Porter from the group said: "We haven't been listened to yet, and these plans are unacceptable".

"I do hope that the administrators listen to what the people need for safety reasons because to take all our acute services away is leaving us very vulnerable in a very dangerous position."

She said more than 15,000 people had signed a petition against the proposals.

Lyn Hill-Tout, chief executive of the Mid Staffordshire, said: "Our staff continue to provide care for our patients at both Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals, and are very proud to continue to put patients first."

"We would like to reassure local people and GPs that we are continuing to provide all our usual services at both hospitals and patients should turn up as usual for any appointments they have."

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