Health sector regulator Monitor has approved the trust special administrators’ proposal for Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust to be dissolved.
The trust has become infamous in recent years in relation to the care failings that occurred there between 2005 and 2009, and the subsequent inquiries that followed, which were led by Robert Francis QC .
Trus has two main hospital sites, Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital.
Since April it has been run by trust special administrators – the clinician Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor and Alan Bloom of Ernst and Young – after Monitor was advised that the trust was neither clinically nor financially sustainable in its current form.
The administrators laid out plans in December to downgrade the trust and move some services to other hospitals.
They said Stafford Hospital should continue to operate an emergency department, albeit with reduced opening hours, and a midwife-led maternity unit.
Under their plans, consultant-led obstetrics and inpatient paediatric services would move to University Hospitals of North Staffordshire Trust, although Stafford would retain a paediatric assessment unit.
Cannock Chase Hospital
Stafford Hospital would be run by University Hospital of North Staffordshire Trust and Cannock Chase Hospital would be run by Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust.
These plans were approved by Monitor on Thursday but the administrators’ recommendations now require approval from health secretary Jeremy Hunt. He has to make this decision by 26 February.
Monitor could only accept or reject the administrators’ recommendations and was unable to amend them. However, Mr Hunt can require the administrators to amend their report if he feels it does not meet tests as set down in the legislation, including securing essential services demanded by local commissioners and offering good value for money.
Monitor’s report on its recommendations states: “Monitor has acknowledged that with the benefit of hindsight it was a mistake to grant the trust foundation status. We didn’t have a full picture of the state of care at the trust at the time.”
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