The announcement by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that the Mid Staffs NHS Trust is to be dissolved was unfortunately predictable but his statement was very short on detail and begs more questions than it answers says Dr Clive Peedell:
It looks like a politically-motivated fudge, with local services partially reprieved to save the skin of local Tory MPs with a general election looming. But the long term future is very uncertain.
The Trust Special Administrator's solution, which has been accepted by Mr Hunt, to downgrade some services will not be good for patient care. This will inevitably lead to further service closures over time because medical & surgical specialties are often interdependent on one another. In particular, a downgrade of the A+E service is very worrying and the concerns of local people over 24 hour care and children’s services have been ignored.
There were clearly many management failures at the Trust which put business principles before patient care. This was driven by the desire to become a Foundation Trust, as part of national policy to increasingly marketise our healthcare system. What's worrying is that Mid Staffs won't be the only hospital that is going to face downgrading and merging of services. This is going to be a pattern up and down the country.
Full press release at: http://nhap.org/mid-staffs-statement-a-politically-motivated-fudge/