The team of administrators charged with deciding the future of the troubled Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust will publish its final report on 18 December.

The trust special administrators were appointed by independent health watchdog Monitor earlier this year to come up with a proposal on maintaining essential services at the scandal-hit trust, which runs Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals.

In their interim report in July, the administrators agreed with earlier findings that the trust was clinically and financially unsustainable, proposing Mid Staffordshire be dissolved altogether and some essential services including maternity and paediatrics be moved away from Stafford to other nearby hospitals.

Their then draft proposals would keep the current limited-hours A&E department running at that site, but would see the two hospitals taken over by larger neighbouring NHS trusts.

Campaign group Support Stafford Hospital has criticised any transfer of services away from Stafford because they believe it equates to a downgrade of the site.

The trust special administrators will publish their final proposal following a lengthy public consultation period, although any final decision will have to be made by the health secretary before the end of this year.

The administrators were appointed after the Mid Staffordshire scandal and the subsequent inquiry which reported its findings in January this year and led to one of the biggest shake-ups in the health service’s 65 years.