An extra £14 million will need to be spent to improve a hospital as it deals with extra patients from Staffordshire, it has been revealed.
But trusts earmarked to provide services from the Stafford Hospital fallout will not be tied to any agreement put in place.
The £14m improvements are needed to create extra capacity at Walsall Manor, where emergency admissions have increased by 40 per cent.
Demand there will further increase under plans to strip services from Stafford Hospital, which will lose its maternity unit delivering 1,800 babies a year, with major surgery and children’s inpatient care moving elsewhere.
Its critical care unit also faces being downgraded under plans drawn up by administrators called in to create a blueprint for the future of services in Staffordshire.
Health bosses at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust have put forward a multi-million pound bid to run services at Cannock Chase Hospital and have been in talks with New Cross in Wolverhampton over running services.
In a letter to trust administrator Alan Bloom, Walsall’s chief executive Richard Kirby said: “We require £14m capital to ensure we have sufficient capacity to ensure safe, high quality services to the people of Walsall and Staffordshire.”
Plans to cope with the decommissioning of Stafford will see that hospital run by the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, with its sister site in Cannock coming under the control of the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.
However, at a meeting of Cannock’s Clinical Commisioning Group it was stated these providers have been used simply as a market testing exercise and that neither Wolverhampton nor Stoke will be tied to the plans.
The decision over which trusts provide services for patients of Cannock and Stafford Hospitals will in fact be in the hands of the CCGs for the areas, as they must choose the most suitable bodies to commission.