STRUCTURE: A legal challenge against the transfer of services from Stafford Hospital to the Royal Stoke Hospital has been ruled out in legal advice to the local authority.

David Wolfe QC from the Matrix Chambers told Stafford Borough Council there is “no basis for a legal challenge at present”.

Stafford Hospital was taken over by University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust in November following a lengthy trust special administration process.

It is expected to lose emergency surgery, consultant led maternity and inpatient paediatric services in the next few months.

The council agreed to seek legal advice over a possible challenge in April.

Two separate attempts at judicial review of the plans were thrown out by the High Court last year.

A special meeting of the council will be held on Monday night to discuss the legal advice.

A report to councillors said: “It has to be accepted that the secretary of state’s decision to transfer certain services at Stafford has already been taken, has already been unsuccessfully challenged in court and is now out of time for further legal challenge.

“The implementation of that decision is still ongoing and subject to legal scrutiny.”

The report added: “There is no basis for a legal challenge at present. However, the implementation should continue to be scrutinised to ensure it is carried out in accordance with accepted recommendations.”