A hospital trust has confirmed it is to axe up to 170 beds and 480 posts to save £24 million.
The Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust in Surrey said it had to save millions of pounds over the next 18 months. It is not currently in deficit but needs to save millions to balance its books over the coming months.
A spokeswoman said it was reducing the amount of time patients spent in hospital, which means that it needs fewer beds. It has already cut 43 beds and plans to axe up to another 170.
Geoff Martin, head of campaigns at pressure group Health Emergency, said: "This is a scandalous attempt to make hard-working, front-line hospital staff pay the price for mismanagement and political interference at the highest level.
"These cuts have been drawn up by external management consultants KPMG, who have charged the NHS trust a small fortune to identify a hit-list of staff and services targeted for the axe."
Kevin O'Brien, Unison branch secretary at Epsom and St Helier, added: "Staff are furious that their futures have been put on the line in order to bail out a financial crisis that is not of their making.
"We will be fighting these cuts and we are calling a massive demonstration on the morning of Saturday November 25th to show the anger both of staff and the public at this assault on their local hospital services."
In September, the trust announced a set of "quick win" initiatives, including asking staff to empty their own bins every day, offering hospital patients a lighter lunch or dinner and cancelling all contracts with water cooler companies.
Trust chief executive, Lorraine Clifton, said yesterday: "It is likely that there will be a reduction of up to 480 posts.
"As far as possible, this will be achieved through not recruiting to vacant posts."
Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said he was "deeply worried" about the developments.
"The Government's financial mismanagement has hit Surrey and Sussex very hard."