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Scandal-hit Mid Staffs trust is to be dissolved

Other nearby trusts will take over running of Mid-Staffs hospitals

Ingrid Torjesen

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The final report of the Trust Special Administrators tasked with determining the future of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust has recommended that the trust be dissolved and that there are changes to some services.

The trust was put in to administration in April and Trust Special Administrators appointed after Monitor decided that services at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust were "unsustainable".

The Trust Special Administrators have recommended that Royal Wolverhampton Trust should run Cannock Hospital and that University Hospital of North Staffordshire take control of Stafford Hospital.

Maternity services at Stafford Hospital will be downgraded rather than closed with half of babies delivered by a new midwife-led maternity unit and more difficult births dealt with at University Hospital of North Staffordshire. Paediatric assessment by specialist staff will still take place at the hospital along with A&E.

The trust has made significant improvements over the past two to three years and is currently clinically safe, the Trust Special Administrators said. However, they added that big changes were necessary because the trust was "highly fragile", "financially and clinically unviable" and faced major staffing problems.

Maggie Oldham, chief executive of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust: “We hope that the Trust Special Administrators’ recommendations will achieve the best long-term solutions for patients.

“Our hope is that once the Trust Special Administrators’ report is passed by Monitor to the Secretary of State for Health, he will announce his decision on the recommendations as soon as possible and the implementation of any changes he approves can begin.”

She added: “The period of uncertainty about the future of the Mid Staffs has begun to have a bigger impact on our ability to recruit and retain staff.  This means we have difficult decisions to make about what temporary steps we need to take to make sure that we maintain safe staffing levels over the winter period so that the services we provide remain safe and are of the quality we and our patients expect.”

This is only the second time a trust has been dissolved. The tactic was first used in 2012 for South London Healthcare trust.

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