The Eric Rawlings Ward at Salford Royal Hospital looks after the city's women who have problems in early pregnancy, or with fibroids, post-menopausal bleeding, ovarian tumours; breast cancer and infertility problems. It is a specialist service with a specialist team of nurses, and one of the flagship wards at the top rated Salford Royal Hospital.
Now that service is being disbanded, and patients will be re-distributed around other wards in the hospital, many possibly ending up in mixed wards.
"This is totally against everything that's been built up and the improvements that have been made over the last 10 years" a hospital insider told us "Why wreck something that's working? This is all about money, not about improving services."
These revelations come in the midst of leaks from the hospital showing plans to chop 10% from primary, community, acute and mental health sectors by 2013, and 15% cuts in acute and in-patient mental health care by 2013, including 750 jobs.
Meanwhile, the Salford Star has recently revealed that non executive directors at the Salford Royal Hospital Trust have been awarded a 2.25% pay increase, taking their pay to beyond £13,000 a year for attending board meetings. Hazel Blears' husband, Micheal Halsall, will earn around £78,000 for his time as a non executive director of the Trust.
"The closure of the Eric Rawlings Ward is sure to be linked with the closure of the whole maternity unit at Salford Royal" said the hospital insider "This is a kick in the teeth for Salford women."
A spokesperson for Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust said:
"There are no formal recommendations or decisions about any changes to the Eric Rawlings ward; it continues to operate and provide high quality care to patients as normal. If we were to make any future changes to the Eric Rawlings ward, we would do this through working closely with staff to ensure that we capture their ideas and continue to deliver the highest standards to our patients."
* A `Keep Our NHS Public' demonstration, against job losses, cuts and privatisation in the NHS is planned for this Saturday at 2pm outside Salford Royal Hospital.
* See previous Salford Star article on NHS Trust non exec directors' payments here
* See previous article on Salford Royal Hospital Trust costs and non exec directors' payments here