A North Yorkshire NHS trust has announced plans to axe 600 staff – a third of its workforce – in a bid to save more than £28 million.
The Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust, which runs two hospitals, said that, in addition to the cuts to the workforce, it would close wards and axe services.
Unison branch secretary Brenda Lloyd told the Northern Echo newspaper that the trust already struggles to meet demand during the peak holiday period and during the winter.
'Everybody here is in shock. We are gravely concerned because I can't see how they are going to deliver a service,' she said.
Geoff Martin of the campaigning group Health Emergency said, 'This nails the lie that Gordon Brown and his new health secretary Alan Johnson are listening to health workers. These are the same drastic cuts we had under Tony Blair's regime.'
Around 23,000 NHS posts and 2,600 beds have been axed in the past 18 months as a result of cost-cutting measures.
News of the cuts in Scarborough was released in the same week that it emerged that a former boss of the regional health authority that covers the North Yorkshire area was given a redundancy payout of £899,810.
The health authority said that the management redundancies had been made to 'save money'.