Feb 28 2013
Health officials are consulting on whether or not to put the scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust into administration.
Regulator Monitor said it was considering the move in order to "safeguard services" for local patients. If the move goes ahead, the trust will be the first foundation trust in the country to be put under the charge of special administrators.
Last year, South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT) became the first ever NHS trust to be put into administration after it started losing around £1.3 million a week.
But Mid Staffs could be the first foundation trust - a supposed marker of excellence in the health service - to face the same fate.
The trust was at the centre of a public inquiry into the "disaster" at Stafford Hospital where hundreds of patients may have died needlessly after they were "routinely neglected".
The Francis Report highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people" between 2005 and 2009.
Monitor, the watchdog which regulates foundation trusts, said it was consulting the Health Secretary and key organisations about the prospective appointment of trust special administrators.
An independent review into the trust, conducted on behalf of Monitor, concluded that the organisation was neither clinically nor financially sustainable in its current form.
Monitor said that if administrators are appointed, they will devise a plan for the reorganisation and delivery of services. A spokesman said the plan would be subject to public consultation.
David Bennett, chief executive of Monitor, said: "We are now consulting on whether to appoint trust special administrators with the expertise to reorganise services in a way which is clinically robust and sustainable. Their priority will be to make sure that patients can continue to access the services that they need and they will work with the local community to do this."