A shake-up of healthcare could leave Stafford Hospital at risk and have a serious impact on services, it was warned today.
Staffordshire County Council said there will be an £8.5 million black hole which will leave the hospital at ‘considerable risk’.
The council has submitted its formal response to the consultation on recommendations to dissolve Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust. These fears have also been echoed by the Stafford and Surrounds and Cannock and Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Leader of Staffordshire County Council Philip Atkins said: “We have looked at the proposals in great detail and, as they currently stand, we believe these recommendations will lead to an unacceptable fragmentation of the local health care system.
“The administrators have focused purely on trying to resolve the issues at the trust rather than look at the wider picture and indeed the wider repercussions of these recommendations.
Not only are we very concerned that this financial black hole is still going to leave Stafford Hospital at significant risk of both financial and clinical collapse, but the review also fails to recognise the knock-on impact across the county.”
He said people want more services in the community and called for a midwife-led unit to be established.
Meanwhile, moves to dissolve Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust have been backed by the Stafford and Surrounds and Cannock Chase CCGs.
But in consultation letters, the groups say they cannot sign up to the report as alternative ways of commissioning services and achieving financial balance are necessary.
Although the administrators have encountered an unenviable task they have not produced a solution that delivers clinical and financial sustainability for the Mid Staffordshire Health economy, the CCGs claim.
Andrew Donald, chief accountable officer for both CCGs, said: “The CCGs believe that more work needs to be done to look at commissioning a more integrated approach to healthcare between the community and acute sector.
“Neither CCG can sign up to the TSA report because it doesn’t propose a financially sustainable solution and we will not accept a solution that leaves either CCG with a multi million pound debt to manage.”
Stafford Hospital is expected to lose critical care, maternity and paediatric in-patient services to other hospitals under the proposals.
At Cannock Hospital, health bosses in Wolverhampton and Walsall are looking to run services. Consultation on the proposals ends today and final recommendations will be issued in November with Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt making a decision by the end of the year.