Nearly 30 of the 104 workers have been found other jobs, the trust said. Twelve have started training as healthcare support workers for a new day case theatre due to open at Cannock Chase Hospital later this year.

About 15 have found work with the Sunlight Service Group. Sunlight, based in Leicester and Coventry, was awarded the £400,000 per annum, 10-year laundry contract at the trust’s board meeting on Thursday 6 September.

Alan Seager, business development director at Sunlight, said: “We are looking forward to working with the Trust to develop a long term relationship as the provider of laundry services locally.”

The remaining CBT staff received notices that they could face redundancy. Efforts to find other jobs will continue throughout the period of the redundancy notices, which range from four to 12 weeks, the trust said.

The trust took over the laundry 16 years ago – but the impact of the recent national framework on laundries, issued by the NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency (PASA), led to trusts who are customers of CBT seeking reductions in their costs.

As a result, the trust had already lost one of its existing contracts, two had served notice that they intended to re-tender and it was expected that others would seek reductions.

Among options considered was whether a commercial contractor could take over the business at the laundry – but the terms of the 99-year lease on the building would not allow that to happen.

Trust chief executive, Martin Yeates, said the trust was “extremely sorry” for the loss of jobs. “We have considered long and hard the range of options to try to avoid having to close the laundry and were open to any other suggestions during our 90-day consultation period with trade unions and staff.

“But, regretfully, no viable alternatives were forthcoming, so we have had to reach the conclusion that the laundry will close at the end of October.

“Our first duty is to provide quality healthcare services to our patients and we could not let the laundry adversely affect our financial ability to do that.”