Healthcare watchdog Monitor has placed the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust into administration to "safeguard the future of health services" provided.

From this morning (Tuesday 16 April) clinician Hugo Mascie-Taylor and Ernst & Young's Alan Bloom have taken over the reigns of the Trust, and will now work alongside local commissioners and other healthcare groups to plan the reorganisation of sustainable services.

The move follows a review by a Contingency Planning Team that concluded that, in its current form, the Trust, which runs both Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals, was neither clinically or financially sustainable, making it the first FT to be placed in the hands of administrators.

The Trust was recently the subject of a £13-million, three-year investigation after it emerged 400 to 1,200 extra deaths were recorded at the Staffordshire hospital between 2005 and 2008 due to appalling standards of care and negligence.

The Francis inquiry made no less than 290 recommendations, and called for a "fundamental culture change" throughout the NHS to reduce the future risk to patients.

Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said Monitor is right to take "firm action to help the Trust recover its financial footing and deliver better care". 

However, he also said "more needs to be done do more to support troubled trusts at the earliest possible stage to maintain high standards of care, rather than getting to the point where trusts find themselves facing administration".

"Poor care costs money and, in the worst cases, lives," and "allowing trusts to spiral in to financial difficulties is in no one's interest," Farrar stressed, calling for "radical changes to improve outcomes and manage resources on a sustainable basis". 

Administrators now have 45 working days to redesign service delivery, after which their proposals for change will be the subject of public consultation.