Vital services are to be stripped at Stafford Hospital after Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the troubled Mid Staffs NHS trust will be dissolved.
The Royal Wolverhampton Trust will take control of Cannock Hospital while the University Hospital of North Staffordshire will take over Stafford.
Stafford’s A&E will be open for just 14 hours a day and the number of births will be halved.
Seriously ill children will no longer be treated at Stafford’s Weston Road site. Major surgery and emergency treatment will take place at hospitals as far away as Wolverhampton.
Sue Hawkins of the Save Stafford Hospital campaign said, “We are a semi-rural area. People are going to have to travel long distances to receive care.”
Cheryl Porter added that other hospitals were badly prepared to take on extra patients.
Mid Staffordshire became the first NHS Foundation Trust to be declared bankrupt after an inquiry into patient deaths there.
The deaths followed drastic staff cuts.
Gail Gregory, whose husband is being treated at the hospital, said, “Local people know the value of their hospital. This fight is not over.”