A large London teaching hospital has said it does not yet know where the axe will fall in response to union claims it is cutting posts.
Unison has said 500 posts, including those of nurses and consultants, will go at St George’s Healthcare Trust in south London and that three wards will also close.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The shock waves will be felt in hospitals across London and beyond. Only two weeks ago Barts and the London announced 630 job losses, including 250 nurses and 100 beds cut.”
A spokeswoman for the trust in south London could not confirm how many frontline nursing posts would be lost among the total identified by Unison, but said trust “hopes to avoid” compulsory redundancies.
She said: “St George’s Healthcare is not immune from the financial challenges currently facing the wider NHS and we have been open with staff and unions about the need to achieve £55m savings during 2011-12.
“We cannot speculate at this stage on the exact number, or nature, of posts that will need to go.”
She added: “Our main focus is to reduce our temporary staffing bill, which is currently £30m per year, and we are also reviewing non-clinical services.”
Jane Pilgrim, Unison nursing representative at St Georges Hospital, said: “We were told by the government that there would be no cuts in frontline posts but in reality the NHS is witnessing swingeing cuts to frontline services every day.”
The trust will take over the provision of community services from NHS Wandsworth in April under the government’s Transforming Community Services programme.
Data from the NHS Information Centre showed the hospital trust had a headcount of 2,490 nursing and midwifery staff in October.