Up to 1,000 jobs could go at the Pennine Acute Trust to meet budget savings, its chief executive has warned.

The trust says it may have to shed 10 per cent of its staff posts to help make an estimated £45m in cost savings in 2011-12.

The trust serves a population of about 800,000 in running Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, North Manchester General Hospital, the Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary and services at Birch Hill.

Chief executive John Saxby said the scale of the financial challenge it faced was “unprecedented” but hoped that compulsory redundancies could be avoided.

He said: “Even for a large organisation like this, with an operating budget of over half a billion pounds, this level of savings cannot be achieved by cutting out waste or reducing our non-pay expenditure alone.

“I believe it is right for the trust to consider all options in its efforts to reduce costs and work more efficiently so we can provide safe, high-quality, reliable and sustainable services through this economic downturn and beyond.

“Around 70 per cent of our expenditure is on staffing costs.

“We are, therefore, informing our trade unions of our need to reduce posts across the trust by a significant number during 2011-12 and we are also affirming our commitment to work through the impact of that with them.

“The reduction could mean that the trust has to lose up to as many as 1,000 posts from its total staffing complement of approximately 10,000.

“The trust has never had to resort to compulsory redundancies in the past as a way of balancing its budget and I do not see any reason why we would need to resort to such measures now.

“We still have a reasonable level of natural turnover of staff in any one year. We will, therefore, set out to manage any reduction in posts by redeploying staff into vacancies.

“Where we are incurring costs for temporary staff, we will seek to redeploy permanent staff into those posts.

“We will also reduce overtime wherever possible so that permanent staff can be redeployed to work those hours.

“I sincerely expect that at the end of this process everyone who wishes to continue to work for the trust will still be with us.”

He added: “The scale of the financial challenge facing us is unprecedented and I understand that individual members of staff may be concerned about their own future.

“As we work through the next year to secure the future for our permanent staff, I do not underestimate the personal challenges some people will face in adapting to new roles, new locations and new colleagues.

“We will be as supportive as possible and will make sure that we are as clear and prompt in our communications as we can be.”