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16 January 2014, 14:16
Monitor approves administrators plan for services at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust
Monitor has approved the proposed dissolution of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and passed the administrators' recommendations to the Secretary of State.
The health sector regulator is satisfied the package of measures put forward by the Trust Special Administrators (TSAs) is the most appropriate solution for the local health economy that can be found in the circumstances.
Dr David Bennett, Monitor Chief Executive, said: "Making changes to local health care services is never easy, or necessarily popular with the general public. Neither does change in a complicated system like the NHS come cheap. Nevertheless it is absolutely essential that patients are able to access safe services today, tomorrow and well into the future."
As set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 Monitor can only accept or reject the TSAs recommendations they cannot amend them.
However, the Secretary of State has powers to require the TSAs to vary their report if he feels it does not meet any of his tests as set down in the legislation, including securing the essential services demanded by local commissioners and offering good value for money. That decision has to be made by 26 February 2014.
The special administrators will continue to run the trust and patients will be able to access healthcare services as normal.
Campaign group Support Stafford have told Heart they accept that Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has to be dissolved but are calling on Jeremy Hunt to keep:
A consultant-led obstetrics and maternity service
A 24/7 consultant-led service for children, including in-patients and a Paediatric Assessment Unit
A fully resourced level 3 critical care facility
An A&E service - available 24/7
Leader of the group Sue Hawkins also told us they're calling on the doctors help pay for these particular local services, The Clinical Commissioning Group, to reaffirm their committment in saving what the locals deem to be essential.
NHS CCG Chief Officer Andrew Donald told Heart "As health commissioners we have made it clear that our priority is to have a local health economy which is both clinically safe and financially sustainable.
When the TSA made their initial recommendations in the summer we wrote to them raising a number of concerns.
The updated recommendations they produced last month clearly addressed the clinical concerns we raised, and proposals to provide our health economy with the financial support to deliver the sustainable clinical model we regard as absolutely essential.
We must work together to build a health economy that provides stability for patients, the public and local NHS staff we need to recruit and retain."