Mid Staffordshire hospital trust paid out £1.3m in redundancy payments between 2006 and 2009, figures disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed.

The request was made by the Liberal Democrats. The party’s health spokesman Norman Lamb said the figures were “absolutely shocking” as the lay-offs coincided with 400 unnecessary deaths at the trust and levels of care that the Healthcare Commission last month described as “appalling”.

Mr Lamb said the payout figures “demonstrate how much money was being wasted getting rid of staff who were desperately needed, at a time when hundreds of people were dying because of the inadequate care”.

Over the three year period the trust paid out an average of £433,000 a year in redundancy pay offs. Over the same period, payouts across the entire NHS totalled around £438m - so the Mid Staffordshire payouts represented 0.3 per cent of this.

The trust made its biggest payouts in 2007-08 when it spent £878,000 on redundancies, representing 0.5 per cent of the total £183m paid out on the 2,223 NHS redundancies that year.