MP's concern over report on crisis hospital
AN MP has voiced concerns over a report ruling that crisis-hit Stafford Hospital has 'no sustainable future'.
Representatives from health watchdog Monitor spent months at the centre looking at how it is progressing since it emerged that hundreds of patients died through neglect.
An interim report published on Wednesday concluded that while the hospital is providing safe care at present, it will not be able to do so on a sustainable basis.
Inspectors from the Contingency Planning Team also found the hospital will not be able to break even without compromising clinical services.
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They also said Stafford's doctors were getting too little professional experience because the hospital is one of the smallest in Britain and has relatively low levels of patients attending A&E or having routine operations.
The Department of Health gave the hospital £20 million last year and the report says without continuing cash support totalling £73 million, it will be unable to pay its debts.
Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy said: "This report does not pull its punches. Despite a £20 million subsidy from the taxpayer last year and £73 million more required over the next five years, the trust cannot balance its books.
"What Monitor will do now is present a way forward which will safeguard services for patients.
"I am convinced that these services must be based, as now, at Stafford and Cannock hospitals.
"There are ways to improve the financial situation and clinical sustainability by working much more closely with other hospitals such as the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
"When I met with Monitor I presented figures which showed that many other small acute trusts face moving into deficit. David Bennett, Monitor's head, clearly understood my point that finding the best solution is vital for the whole NHS."