Coventry & Warwickshire

Birch Ward at a Rugby hospital shuts despite petition

A 22-bed ward has closed at a Warwickshire hospital despite a campaign to keep it open.

The Birch Ward at St Cross Hospital in Rugby has been closed to save the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust £1m a year.

No jobs have been lost as a result of the closure which is "until further notice" the trust said.

The Rugby Labour Party said it gathered 1,000 signature-petition against the closure.

'Nail in coffin'

The closure, confirmed earlier this month, is part of the trust's plans to save £8.5m before April 2012.

Pete McLaren, from the Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, said at the time of the closure announcement, the decision was "yet another nail in the coffin."

The trust's chief executive, Andy Hardy said: "The decision to close the Birch Ward at the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby was not taken lightly but in the current financial climate the trust has had to make some difficult decisions.

"The closure of this ward will not impact on any of the trust's specialist services and we will work tirelessly to ensure high quality and safe services are delivered for any patients affected."

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