Health union Unison blamed hospital bosses' mismanagement today after Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said it would axe 750 jobs by 2015.
The South Yorkshire trust claimed it needed a "smaller hospital with substantially fewer beds" and a smaller workforce to save £50m.
Unison head of health for Yorkshire and Humberside Pam Johnson said: "This is terrible news for patients and for the local community.
"Cutting nursing staff at a time when we have an ageing population and have already lost nearly 6,000 nurses since the Con-Dems came to power should worry everyone who relies on the NHS in Rotherham.
"This is the worrying shape of things to come as our NHS suffers in Tory hands.
"Hospitals across the country are struggling to cope with the impact of funding cuts, rising patient numbers and the legacy of PFI debt."
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