The special administrators appointed to Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust have recommended the organisation is dissolved and its maternity service closes.

The plans drawn up by the Monitor-appointed administrators also back the retention of accident and emergency services between 8am and 10pm, the hours they currently operate.

The most serious A&E patients will be taken straight to University Hospital of North Staffordshire Trust. A total of £1.2m has been set aside for the transfer of blue light cases that are brought to Stafford but must be sent to North Staffordshire after being stabilised.

The document released today makes no mention of when the delivery of babies will cease at Mid Staffordshire but it anticipates the changes proposed will be in place by the end of 2017-18.

The trust’s maternity unit currently delivers 1,800 babies a year.

HSJ last year analysed how the legacy of the Mid Staffordshire scandal could be resolved. Read Shaun Lintern’s article here.

The recommendations are among the 14 made by the Ernst and Young team appointed in April when Mid Staffordshire became the first foundation trust to be placed in the failure regime under the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

The £150m-turnover Mid Staffordshire is predicting a deficit of £20.2m in the current financial year.

Savings measures outlined by the trust special administrators included £11.6m from “reducing executive management and back office functions”, £8.6m from “a reduction in various clinical and ward costs that are no longer required” and £10.4m in “general cost improvements”.

They anticipate reducing spending on temporary staff by £6.2m and making £4m by renting out part of the trust’s Cannock Chase site.

The administrators also pointed out the trust’s overheads are 18 per cent above the NHS average.

The report added that even if all this is achieved by 2017-18 the trust will be running at a deficit of £8.2m.

HSJ understands the model of care set out in the recommendations could be provided only by a merger of Stafford Hospital with University Hospital of North Staffordshire Trust and Cannock Chase Hospital with the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital Foundation Trust.

Initial expressions of interest to take over services were received from 12 organisations, boiling down to six when more detailed plans were requested by the administrators.

The plans drawn up by the administrators specify that more services are retained at the trust’s two hospital sites than the local clinical commissioning groups have stipulated.

The “locally specified services” - Monitor’s term for services commissioners have stipulated must continue in their present location - make no mention of A&E or maternity services.