THE NHS trust that runs Solihull Hospital will have to shed 1,600 staff over the next four years.
The Heart of England Foundation Trust, which also runs Good Hope and Heartlands hospitals, has to make efficiency savings of four per cent per year for the next four years.
The trust must save £16.7 million this financial year.
Mark Newbold, chief executive of Heart of England Foundation Trust, said that although the amount of cash was the equivalent of 1,600 posts in four years, the savings would be found through various means, including becoming more efficient in the way its hospitals worked, retirements and natural wastage.
Mr Newbold said: “On average 600 staff each year change jobs, leave the trust or retire so we believe that these reductions can be made through careful planning and working differently.
“We continue to recruit in important frontline posts as well as redesign services to improve patient outcomes and patient experience.”
Solihull MP Lorely Burt (Lib Dem) said: “It is important to note that the Government is increasing the budget of the NHS in real terms.
“What we don’t want to do is preserve the NHS in aspect. There is many ways we can improve the services.
“The objective is not to detract from front line services but to remove some of the bureacractic work created under Labour.”
The Unison trade union said the cuts represents 20 per cent of staff at the trust.
Local Unison organiser Rob Johnson said: “Twenty per cent cuts over a four year period is unprecedented, dangerous and will impact on patient care.
“We are concerned that the dash for cash could lead to the problems at Mid Staffordshire.
“The work still exists and that will be dumped on the shoulders of nurses. You will have a diminshed NHS in Solihull.”
Unison’s regional organiser Ray Salmon said: “Staff are all contributing to patient care. You can’t remove these people without impacting patient care.
“We have already seen maternity services centralised away from Solihull, which is midwife lead. What’s to stop other services being downgraded?”