Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS foundation trust has said it is looking for ways to save £50 million over the next three years.

Speaking at a meeting with the board of governors, chief executive Miles Scott said it was necessary to reduce expenditure to survive the recession.

Currently 70 per cent of the budget is spent on staffing at the Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, which are managed by the trust, and it is this that Mr Scott says must be addressed.

He said: “We can’t cut £50m by cutting cleaning budgets or letting waiting lists treble. We will have to find different ways of doing it.

“Inevitably, in an organisation with 70 per cent of money going on staffing costs we will have to find a way of reducing our staffing costs and that will be a big challenge.”

However, he stressed that would not be done by making people redundant but instead by reducing costs.

He cited a drop in the annual growth in government spending on health for the reason behind the cuts, with annual growth falling from 5 per cent in 1997 to about 2 per cent.