Two bosses at the scandal-hit trust that runs Stafford and Cannock hospitals have quit after steps were taken to place it into special administration.
Dr Lynne Hulme and Eleanor Chumley-Roberts both stepped down from their roles at what may have been the last meeting of the existing board of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
It came after health regulator Monitor announced it had begun steps to put the trust into special administration in a bid to “safeguard services” for patients. Monitor had already declared it “financially and clinically unsustainable”.
There were fresh concerns today that any cut to services at Stafford and Cannock would put even more pressure on other hospitals, including Wolverhampton’s New Cross and Walsall Manor, which have already seen a rise in patients since the closure of Stafford’s A&E due to safety fears.
Tearfully announcing her resignation at yesterday’s meeting, Mrs Chumley-Roberts, who has been with the trust since 2010, said: “Transparency within the NHS has always been important, as has putting patients at the forefront.
“Personally I have been very disappointed with some of the changes that have taken place at very short notice.
“I resign from the board today and will be giving three months’ notice.”
Dr Hulme, who joined in October, followed, saying: “I’ve been made to feel like an irrelevance in all this.”
Meanwhile, chairman Professor John Caldwell bid his farewell to all at the meeting, saying it may be their last. “We have a meeting scheduled for March 28, but it’s possible the trust special administrator could be in just before that time,” he said.
If administrators are brought in, all executive directors on the board will be suspended but remain in their jobs at the trust.
If a special administrator is appointed, governors, the chairman and executive and non-executive directors would be suspended from office. Monitor has said that taking into account the 30-day public consultation process, the administration would take several weeks before coming into force.