ALMOST 50 workers will be affected after Sunderland Royal Hospital announced it is to shut its laundry service.
Bosses say they are working hard to redeploy employees affected by the closure which will see cleaning services put out to contract.
Workers have told the Echo the move has left morale at an all-time low and many staff are fearing for their future.
A review of the provision of laundry services at City Hospitals Sunderland was undertaken last year, and a decision was made that the service be transferred to a commercial company, Sunlight.
The laundry will close when the changes come into effect from May 1. Of 49 staff, nine are to be transferred to Sunlight, five will be retained to run the laundry monitoring team on site at Sunderland Royal, one has been redeployed and 22 are undertaking trials for positions elsewhere in the trust.
A spokesman for Sunderland Royal Hospital said: “Discussions continue about the possible redeployment of the remaining 12 members of staff.”
Many staff have worked for the laundry service for years and say they are “concerned about the redeployment” of the team.
Ken Bremner, chief executive of City Hospitals Sunderland, said: “Our laundry staff are some of the hardest working and loyal members of our trust team.
“The decision has been taken with a great deal of reluctance, but is unfortunately necessary to provide a modern laundry service.”