Almost 10,000 NHS jobs have been cut, despite a government pledge to protect frontline services, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said.
The union said it was aware of posts being lost through redundancies, recruitment freezes and people not being replaced when they retire, or jobs which face cuts in the future. The 10,000 lost posts is double what the RCN reported two months ago, although the group has now received details from more trusts.
Based on data from 26 trusts in England, at least 5,600 posts were earmarked for cuts or lost in April.
A total of 9,973 posts have gone, been frozen or will go in England, according to information from 100 NHS organisations –the equivalent of 47 jobs a day over the last six months.
Howard Catton, head of policy at the RCN, said this was a "conservative figure" based on the lowest estimates from trusts of what has happened or will happen over the next two years.
The union pointed to a "growing gulf" between government promises to protect frontline services and "short-sighted" cuts occurring in trusts.
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the RCN, said the latest job figures did not bode well for the future and "logic would suggest" the number of posts under threat is actually higher.
"This is what we have got at this moment in time and it's doubled just seven or eight weeks down the line (since the last figures in April)," said Dr Carter. "That's very worrying if that trajectory is to continue."