The Trust Special Administrators for Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (MSFT) announced they have requested additional time to develop their draft recommendations about the future of hospital services for people in Stafford and Cannock prior to the public consultation.
Alan Bloom, one of joint TSAs, said: “We have made a lot of progress, in a short space of time, in developing solutions for the best set of services available for patients locally. The solutions must be clinically and financially sustainable and we believe to get it right we need more time to continue our discussions with other providers and commissioners and to finalise our draft recommendations. It would be a disservice to the people served by Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals and MSFT’s staff to not request the additional time we believe we need to develop our proposals fully.
“This is why we have formally asked Monitor for both an extension of 30 working days to finalise the draft recommendations and 10 extra working days for the public consultation to take into account the summer-holiday period.
“The legislation clearly allows for extra time to be granted in this way by Monitor, the health care regulator, where there are good reasons to do so.
“We regret the uncertainty that this delay would create as staff and local people are understandably keen to know what the future holds.”
Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor, a joint TSA, said detailed conversations had taken place with potential providers of services at Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals as part of the TSAs’ work. Although the work was encouraging he said it was vital any solution did not impact negatively on other neighbouring Trusts, either financially or clinically.
He said: “We aren’t looking at Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals in isolation and are considering how it impacts on other providers and commissioners. Our draft recommendations need to deliver a solution that works in the long term, without just shifting the problem elsewhere.”
The joint TSAs have worked on developing their draft recommendations since the Trust was placed in Trust Special Administration by Monitor on 16 April 2013.
If Monitor decides to grant an extension, they will lay an order in Parliament and make an announcement about the new timetable for the draft report.
For clarity, the proposed public consultation meetings already announced will be cancelled and rescheduled accordingly and we sincerely apologise for any confusion or inconvenience that this will cause.