STAFF numbers will have to be reduced at Barnsley Hospital in a bid to make savings of about £6million.

At a meeting of top hospital chiefs it was revealed that £6.2million must be saved in the 2013/14 financial year.

Janet Ashby, director of finance and information, said meeting the goal was 'a significant challenge' but it was on a similar scale to savings made in previous years.

However, the tightening of the hospital's purse strings would not impact on patient services, she said.

"Our largest single cost is our workforce, making up around 70 per cent of our expenditure. We will have to reduce staff numbers over the course of our savings programme," Janet said.

The hospital plans to achieve this through other means rather by compulsory redundancies.

"Any reductions in staffing levels will be achieved by changing the way we work, not by simply reducing our levels of resource to do the same things we have done before," she added.

"This will only be done after full consultation with our staff. We will only be making changes if we are completely satisfied that there will be no adverse impact on patient care."