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MP says Stafford Hospital problem vital to whole NHS

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

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STAFFORD'S MP said solving the problems at Stafford Hospital was vital to the whole of the NHS.

Jeremy Lefroy said a report published today by healthcare regulator Monitor into the long-term sustainability of troubled Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, did not pull its punches.

He said despite a £20 million subsidy from the taxpayer in the previous year, the trust would require more that £73million subsidy over the next five years and still would not be able to balance its books.

"There is a serious question mark over why the establishment of the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust was approved in 2007/8, just five years ago, when its financial stability was at best precarious even then," said Mr Lefroy.

He said Monitor would now present a way forward which would best safeguard services for patients but he remained convinced those services must be based, as now, at Stafford and Cannock hospitals.

"As I have repeatedly said, there are ways to improve the financial situation and clinical sustainability by working much more closely with other major tertiary hospitals such as the University Hospital of North Staffordshire," he said. “When I met with Monitor to discuss the report, I presented figures which showed that many other small acute trusts similar to Mid Staffs face moving into deficit, even if not as severely. 

"Dr David Bennett, Monitor’s head, clearly understood my point that finding the best solution for Stafford and Cannock hospitals is vital for the whole NHS as it will show how emergency, acute and elective services could be safeguarded locally for patients in a time when demand is rising and budgets are tight."

Mr Lefroy said he had urged Monitor to work with the Royal College of Physicians and its Future Hospitals Commission which he said was developing important ideas and proposals.

“In the meantime, the Stafford Hospital Working Group which I chair will meet tomorrow evening at 7.30pm in Elim Church, Sash Street, Stafford to continue its work of engaging with and challenging the work done by Monitor.”

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