Stoke & Staffordshire

Cannock Chase Hospital takeover bid from Walsall NHS Trust

Cannock Hopsital
Image caption The NHS trust in charge of Cannock Chase Hospital went into administration in April

A West Midlands NHS Trust has bid to take over the running of Cannock Chase Hospital.

Walsall NHS Trust has submitted its bid to Trust Special Administrators who are drawing up plans for the future of both Cannock Chase and Stafford hospitals.

The Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, went into administration on 16 April.

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust also submitted a bid to run Cannock Chase Hospital last week.

In February, a report to the health watchdog Monitor said that services at Stafford and Cannock were not "clinically or financially sustainable".

It recommended downgrading some services and moving their provision to neighbouring hospitals.

Richard Kirby, chief executive of Walsall NHS Trust, said Walsall Manor Hospital had seen an increase in patients from Staffordshire since Stafford Hospital's accident and emergency department began overnight closures.

The hospital has had to open an extra two wards to cope with the demand.

Mr Kirby said taking over a hospital like Cannock would help Walsall "manage the big increase" in emergency patients and could provide a "really good service" to the people of both the areas.

'Best option'

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has confirmed a report in the Express & Star newspaper that described it having plans to move non-emergency surgery to Cannock, involving "thousands of Wolverhampton patients" being shuttled to Cannock on free buses.

A spokesperson for the trust said its position was "commercially sensitive" so could not make specific comment, but confirmed proposal discussions were under way.

Cannock Chase Council gave its backing to the Wolverhampton proposal at a meeting on Monday.

Council leader George Adamson, said: "We believe this is the best option to address the under utilisation of Cannock Hospital and retain this important NHS facility locally."

The authority has requested the Department of Health supports the takeover of Cannock Hospital by relaxing rules on the value of assets transferred to trusts.

The Trust Special Administrators of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust said no comment could be made until it published a full report into the hospitals' futures.

This is now expected to be in July, after Monitor gave administrators more time to plan the trust's future.

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