Health workers intend to protest against proposed job cuts when Princess Anne visits the maternity unit at Royal Bolton Hospital.
Bolton NHS Trust is facing hundreds of compulsory redundancies - staff believe these job losses will threaten patient safety and care.
Campaigners claim the maternity unit has already been dealing with 40% more births than commissioners expected.
The Trust currently has a deficit of £12.4 million.
In a statement the Trust said:
We originally estimated that we would potentially need to make savings equivalent to up to 500 whole time posts. We are currently in the middle of consultations with staff about a wide ranging and detailed set of proposals about savings. We are hoping that our initial estimate of potential posts at risk will reduce and are aiming to avoid compulsory redundancies as much as possible by looking at natural turnover of staff, different ways of working, savings in areas such as procurement etc.
– Bolton NHS Foundation Trust statement.
All proposals are subject to sign off that they are clinically safe and will not affect the quality of patient care. Please note.. there will be no reduction in midwifery posts and in fact we are currently recruiting.
While we understand that staff are worried about posts potentially going, it is a pity that the Staff Side has chosen to demonstrate at the same time as we have a Royal visit. The visit is the official opening of the extended maternity unit and marks not only significant improvements in facilities for women and babies, but also the hard work by staff to make it happen.