As sector regulator, Monitor is seeking to secure agreement between local commissioners, NHS England, University Hospitals of North Staffordshire NHS Trust and the NHS Trust Development Authority. The trust special administrators (TSAs) will continue to run Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust as planned.
The TSAs have completed their final report, which recommends how essential patient services currently provided by the trust can be safeguarded given that the trust itself is clinically and financially unsustainable in its current form.
A draft report in July proposed that the trust be dissolved and its services provided by neighbouring organisations, but warned that there would still be a significant deficit.
The proposed solution is based on, but not limited to, the services identified by commissioners as essential. However, there is no agreement on how to pay for them.
To enable agreement to be reached on the level of funding required, the regulator has laid an order in Parliament extending the time given to the TSAs to write the final report from 15 days to 55 days. During this time patients in Mid Staffordshire can continue to access health services as normal.
Dr David Bennett, Chief Executive at Monitor, said:
We need to find an answer to the question of who will be providing what funding to secure the future of essential patient services in Mid Staffordshire.
We are giving extra time for the interested parties reach agreement over the next few weeks, in order to ensure that patients continue to get the services they need and the taxpayer gets value for money.
I hope that agreement can now be reached very quickly so that the staff of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust can be given the assurance they need about their hospitals’ future and patients can be assured about the continuing provision of the essential services (location specific services) requested by their commissioners.