Cuts to services and key job losses are looming for Barnet Hospital after their debts doubled to £6 million.

The Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust had forecast a £3m deficit for the end of the financial year but that included a payment of £3m from the Strategic Health Authority, dependent on the hospital breaking even.

This now looks unlikely, leaving the trust facing further cuts and potential job losses, to break out of the red.

Nick Samuels, the trust's director of communications, said: "Obviously this means we have a larger hill to climb as all deficits accumulate. It's too early to say how it will affect us as this is a proposed, rather than confirmed, figure."

The hospital had projected a £6.5m debt in September last year, following a £2.1m overspend. It introduced a series of budgeting measures to counter this large cuts in the numbers of agency staff used, using generic drugs instead of brand names and freezing hundreds of vacancies.

The Barnet Hospital Patient Forum has enlisted a former accountant, Stanley Ash, to join their ranks.

"We have hired an accountant as we are very concerned about the hospital's finances and how it affects the care and treatment patients receive," said forum chairman Alex Nunes.

The deficit was due to be discussed at a meeting of the trust this morning.