Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (MSFT) was dissolved on 1 November 2017, in accordance with the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (Dissolution and Transfer) Order 2014. Although MSFT stopped providing healthcare in 2014, it was retained as a shell organisation because it was thought likely to face prosecution, which it subsequently did.
MSFT was dissolved without any criminal liabilities, assets or other liabilities. The dissolution will also mark the end of the Trust Special Administrator process at MSFT.
On 1 November 2014, following a trust special administration process, the property and civil liabilities of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (MSFT) transferred to the Secretary of State and then to University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust (subsequently renamed University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust) and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, and MSFT ceased to provide healthcare services.
Due to a legal technicality since resolved, MSFT's criminal liabilities could not be transferred at that time. The Secretary of State had asked the Health and Safety Executive to review the unexplained deaths at MSFT, and it was understood that prosecutions were likely. MSFT was therefore retained as a legal entity (a shell organisation) for three years to preserve, and be accountable for, its criminal liabilities.
The period of three years was determined in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive and Department of Health, and was deemed an appropriate length of time to ensure that ongoing investigation into historic cases would not be prejudiced.
In November 2015, MSFT was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive at the Stafford Magistrates Court with regard to four patients it had treated who had sadly died under its care. MSFT pleaded guilty to all charges. In December 2015 the case was considered by the Stafford Crown Court and sentencing passed.
Since then, the Health and Safety Executive has confirmed that there will be no further prosecutions of MSFT and has supported MSFT being dissolved.