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Experts called in to troubled trust

12th September 2012

The health service watchdog Monitor has confirmed that a team of independent experts will look at finding a way to solve the problems at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

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The watchdog, who are responsible for finances and management, will address issues at the trust, which was said to have "appalling standards of care" in 2009.

A team of administrators, accountants, financial and legal advisers will give the trust recommendations on how best to improve their services and a report will be delivered in 2013.

According to the watchdog, it was "open" to finding new solutions and was thinking of restructuring the trust or putting it into special administration.

A report by the Healthcare Commission in 2009 found a "higher than expected" number of deaths at Stafford Hospital. 

The hospital's Accident and Emergency unit was also closed down at night on a temporary basis and a report said the hospital's standard of breast cancer treatment was "deeply dysfunctional".

Dr David Bennett, chair and interim chief executive of Monitor, said: "We have been working closely with Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust to improve its performance. It has made significant improvements in the clinical care provided for patients, but we need to make sure these services can be secured in the long-term.

"It is therefore time for us as the sector regulator to step in and look for a solution that ensures services are provided for local patients on a sustainable basis. We have an open mind about the form that solution might take, but it should be the best one for patients in the long term." 

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