It is the final chance for people to have their say on administrators proposals for the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
The plans, announced in July, involve dissolving the Trust, axing maternity and children's services, and downgrading the critical care unit.
In its formal response to the proposals, Staffordshire County Council says a £8.5m "hole” in funding threatens to leave Stafford Hospital at "considerable risk” of both clinical and financial collapse.
The authority's leader Philip Atkins said: "We have looked at the proposals in great detail and, as they currently stand, we believe these recommendations will lead to an unacceptable fragmentation of the local health care system.
"The administrators have focused purely on trying to resolve the issues at the trust rather than look at the wider picture and indeed the wider repercussions of these recommendations.
"Not only are we very concerned that this financial black hole is still going to leave Stafford Hospital at significant risk of both financial and clinical collapse, but the review also fails to recognise the knock-on impact across the county.
"People want more services in the community – not less – and we hope that the concerns of ourselves and the people of Staffordshire are taken on board before any final decision is made.
"We all accept that the trust isn’t viable in its current model, but we strongly believe that a "fix” for the trust is not the answer and ultimately threatens the delivery of both acute care and health and social care in communities across Staffordshire.
"This is a huge opportunity here for all our partners to work together to deliver a quality NHS and social care and we can’t afford to get wrong not just for Staffordshire, but for the rest of the country.”
Stafford and Surrounds and Cannock Chase Clinical
Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have both written to the administrators, saying they believe that they have not produced a
solution that delivers clinical and financial sustainability for the Mid
Staffordshire Health economy, but acknowledges that it did not have the remit to
look more widely across the health economy.
Chief Accountable Officer for both CCGs, Andrew
Donald said: "It’s our view that the TSA has completed the programme of work as
set out in statute in recommending the dissolution of the Trust. However, the
CCGs believe that more work needs to be done to look at commissioning a more
integrated approach to healthcare between the community and acute sector.
Neither CCG can sign up to the TSA report because it doesn’t propose a
financially sustainable solution and we will not accept a solution that leaves
either CCG with a multi million pound debt to manage.”
Chair of Stafford and Surrounds Dr Anne-Marie
Houlder added: "We believe that for the benefit of our patients locally we can
commission services in a different way. With a different approach to pricing,
extending the timescale to achieve financial sustainability to five years and
with support to build community based services we can potentially reduce the
Chair of Cannock Chase CCG Dr Johnny McMahon added:
"Our CCGs are absolutely clear that in Stafford and Cannock we are the bodies
responsible for commissioning and therefore we will be the organisations who
will be commissioning services differently from 2014. It’s vital than in doing
so we work fully with the public to listen to what services they want and to
take their views into account.”
Consultation on the
proposals ends tomorrow October 1 and final recommendations will be issued in
November. The Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt will make a decision by
the end of the year.