THE chief executive of an NHS trust has warned staff of a “dark" future if it fails to save the £30 million needed for it to reach foundation status, as more than 1,000 jobs are put at risk.

South London Healthcare Trust [SLHT], which is predicting an end of year deficit of £70 million, has published a report saying up to 1,083 job could be lost in the next four years, which could include up to 132 doctors.

The trust needs to make savings of £30 million if it is to become a foundation trust by 2014.

A leaked email from SLHT chief executive Chris Streather told staff if foundation status was not reached “the future of the organisation is very dark.”

He added: “Never mind our pride, this will be bad for local people, and our jobs."

As well as sticking to budgets Mr Streather says the trust needs to improve performance on key access targets such as treatment waiting times.

The trust, which runs the Princess Royal in Farnborough, Queen Mary’s in Sidcup and Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich, has been given a deadline at the end of December to put together plans to show they can make the savings needed to become a foundation trust within four years.

If it does not become a foundation trust it will have to merge with another one, possibly Kings or Guy’s and St Thomas’.

Another leaked email from Dr Andrew Mckay, from the local negotiating committee which mediates between management and staff, calls potential doctor cuts “very concerning.”

It states: “It is clear the Trust is thinking about between 57 - 132 doctors redundancies/ early retirements/ natural wastage which is very concerning to us all across the whole SLHT."

NHS campaigner Thomas Williams, 72, of Crofton Road said: “It’s absolutely disgusting. Cutting doctors and nurses doesn’t help patients one little bit.”

A SLHT spokesman said: "The savings we need to make will reduce pay costs by around £30m next year.

"The Trust currently spends a very similar amount on temporary staff, and our plan is to place the emphasis on this area of our spending, alongside a substantial reduction in non-clinical management.”

"The Trust's review is in its planning stage at the moment. However, we anticipate the numbers of compulsory redundancies to be low."