STAFF morale at Stafford Hospital is lower than it’s ever been with workers breaking down in tears.
Speaking in the wake of the publication of recommendations by regulator Monitor’s contingency planning team, they spoke of their “disgust” at the proposed loss of “essential” services like the maternity unit, intensive care unit and accident and emergency.
Rose Cole, a health care support worker at the hospital, said the loss of maternity would endanger mums and babies.
“It’s devastating. It’s dangerous – it’s going to put babies and mothers’ lives at risk.
"Babies are going to be delivered in ambulances. It’s absolutely appalling.
“The hospital is being used as a scapegoat. They should use what’s happening to make it better.”
Gaynor Hancock, theatre co-ordinator in the hospital’s main theatre, said: “We are devastated. Staff morale is lower than it’s ever been. People are frightened for their futures.
“We will lose staff skills and expertise, it’s a backwards step. I remember this hospital being built and all the services coming together. We are going back 30 or 40 years.
“We need to keep our essential services – the ICU is one of the best across the Midlands. Rates are fantastic. They just want to shut everything and privatise everything.
“We will lose our very skilled staff. They won’t want to stay where there are no major services. It’s horrible working here, I have been in tears but you have to smile, you don’t want the staff to be discouraged.”
Glynis Haughton, a retired midwife, said: “It’s disgusting. I can’t see why they’re going to turn this hospital into a cottage hospital.
“If a woman has a haemorrhage they are not going to make it – they’re going to die. It’s going to kill home deliveries.”
Carol Byrne, another retired midwife, said: “It’s very sad and not necessary. Stafford and surrounding area should have their babies at a local hospital. We should all have our services at our local hospital. I don’t want to go to Stoke or Wolverhampton, I want to be treated here.”