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Mid Staffs trust placed in administration

Scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust has been put into special administration by health sector regulator Monitor, it was announced on Monday afternoon.

The trust has become the first foundation trust to be subjected to the “failure regime” powers granted to Monitor under the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

At a press conference held at the Midlands hospital on Monday, Monitor revealed clinician Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor and Alan Bloom of consultancy firm Ernst and Young will take over the running of the trust from 16 April with the current executive team reporting to them.

The special administrators will have 45 working days to design a way of providing services to patients that is sustainable in the long term.

The plan will be subject to a public consultation and local clinical commissioners have already indicated which services they believe must remain in the area.

David Bennett, chief executive of Monitor, said: “It is important people in Staffordshire know that they can still access services as usual at Stafford and Cannock hospitals while the special administration process is on-going.

“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. There will be a full public consultation on any proposals for change.”

A report by Monitor’s contingency planning team concluded in January that the £155m turnover trust was neither clinically nor financially sustainable in its current form.

The review found the trust, which received a £20m bailout from the Department of Health in 2012-13, would need to find £53m in savings and £73m in subsidies over the next five years to break even.

A lack of specialists in accident and emergency as well as its general surgery department meant Mid Staffordshire was not clinically viable, the contingency planning team report said.

It highlighted the trust’s catchment area of approximately 200,000 people as being significantly below the 450,000 suggested by the Royal College of Surgeons. It recommended the trust services be reduced with the removal of emergency surgery, critical care and maternity.

Urgent care, ante- and post-natal maternity services, and the majority of paediatric visits and elective day cases would remain at the trust’s two hospitals in Stafford and Cannock, it suggested.

Mid Staffordshire was authorised by Monitor in February 2008 and was almost immediately the subject of an investigation by the Healthcare Commission for high mortality rate and poor care.

The trust was at the centre of the public inquiry by Robert Francis QC, which found systemic failings throughout the NHS earlier this year.

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