CAMPAIGNERS say plans to cut vital services at Stafford Hospital are “in turmoil” after GPs failed to back them.
Doctors responsible for paying for services in the area have written to the trust special administrator (TSA) saying they can’t sign up to their report because of concerns about patient care and funding.
They want a five-year transition period instead of the three years proposed by the TSA and they say they won’t pick up the tab for any deficit at the end of that time.
GPs also want different tariff models to be explored and say they will also continue to lobby government for better funding for the area.
They say more work needs to be undertaken with them to ensure “clinical and financial sustainability can be delivered.”
Consultation on the TSA proposals closed on Tuesday prompting responses from the CCG, Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy and campaigners fighting to keep acute services at the hospital.
In a letter to the TSA commissioners said: “The CCG supported the TSA to commence consultation as they had been informed by the TSA that in parallel to the consultation process it was working to reduce the deficit position in its model.
"As we are near the end of the consultation period the CCG notes that we have not received assurance that the deficit gap has been closed.”
Proposing the longer timescale and other costing models be investigated, the letter, signed by CCG chairman Dr Anne Marie Houlder and chief officer Andrew Donald, said: “The CCG confirms that it will not be responsible for any outstanding debts at the end of the transitional period.
“The CCG cannot sign up to the TSA report because it does not propose a solution that would both enable the commissioner and providers to discharge their statutory duties to achieve financial balance.
"The CCG believes that are alternative ways of commissioning services to create better alignment between services provided and funds available.”
The TSA said: “We will be working closely with the CCGs as we have done throughout the TSA process.
“We will as part of our final report, carefully consider the issues that the CCGs have raised in their letters to us in response to the formal consultation about our draft proposals.
"We will be considering the letters along with all the other consultation responses that we receive.”
Mr Lefroy said: “Most people thought the CCG had really signed up at least in prinicipal to the TSA proposals but this is much more sceptical from the CCG. It’s reality.”
Cheryl Porter, of Support Stafford Hospital, said: “(The plans) are in turmoil. Millions of pounds have been wasted on accountants – again.”
The draft proposals will go to Monitor before being sent to the Secretary of State for health Jeremy Hunt who will make a decision by December 31.