Mid Staffs goes into administration
Special administrators are set to take over the running of the scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
The trust has become the first foundation trust in the country to be put into administration. Regulators announced the move to "safeguard the future of health services" currently provided at the trust.
Last year, South London Healthcare NHS Trust became the first NHS trust to be put under the care of a special administrator after it started losing about £1.3 million a week. But Mid Staffordshire is the first foundation trust - a supposed marker of excellence in the health service - to face the same fate.
Regulator Monitor said that the current executive team will report to the trust special administrators - clinician Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor and Alan Bloom of Ernst and Young.
A spokeswoman said that the pair were appointed following consultation with the Health Secretary and an order authorising the appointment was laid before Parliament on Monday. She said the special administrators would be given 45 working days to design a way of providing services to patients in the area "that is sustainable in the long term".
Their plan will be subject to a public consultation and services at the trust's hospitals - Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital - will continue to run as normal until a final decision is reached.
The trust was at the centre of a public inquiry into the "disaster" at Stafford Hospital where hundreds of patients may have died needlessly after they were "routinely neglected".
The Francis Report highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people" between 2005 and 2009. Three weeks after the public inquiry report was published, Monitor said it was consulting about the prospective appointment of trust special administrators after an independent review into the trust, conducted on behalf of the regulator, concluded that the organisation was neither clinically nor financially sustainable in its current form.
The same experts suggested the hospitals run by the trust should be downgraded to make it sustainable.
The trust should retain two smaller operations at Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital, the Contingency Planning Team (CPT) said. But "serious care" and a number of services, including specialist surgical patients, paediatric inpatients and maternity services, should be provided at neighbouring trusts, it said.