HSJ’s roundup of Thursday’s key stories

Lessons from the dissolution of Mid Staffs

Monitor has announced that in future there will be a “bias towards avoiding” the use of the special administration “failure regime” “unless necessary”.

The regulator carried out a lessons learned review of the dissolution of Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, which overran its budget by nearly £5m.

It found this happened in part because of the weak bargaining position of the administrators, who lacked legal powers to compel neighbouring NHS bodies to accept their proposed solution and therefore got bogged down in a lengthy negotiation process.

Because of the “challenges and additional costs” involved in the administration process, Monitor said that in the future it would refrain from using it except as a last resort.

HSJ’s readers - commenting on our coverage of this - were split in their views on special administration.

One said Monitor’s report showed “the failure regime was a very expensive failure”.

But another opined that it “almost certainly” resulted in “a better outcome than in the counter-factual, without the failure regime”.

End of the line for community services social enterprise

Peninsula Community Health, a social enterprise which provides community services across Cornwall, has said it will not seek an extension to its current contract, which ends in March next year.

In an email to staff, the mutual’s chief executive said the organisation’s board had taken the decision not to try and extend its contract because of the “challenging financial climate”.

HSJ understands from a senior local source that Peninsula’s governance structure as a non-NHS organisation meant it could not go into next year knowing it was going to make losses.

Recruitment and retention of staff was also difficult because it could not offer the same pensions as NHS employers.

Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group has said it is working on plans to make alternative arrangements for the provision of services from other local healthcare providers, either singly or in partnership.

But Peninsula’s troubles must pose questions about the government’s wider mutual programme in health.