Health services in western Berkshire could be hit by £137million of cuts over the next four years in plans being considered by the National Health Service.
Leaked documents show the NHS in Berkshire West, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire faces a shortfall of £479million by 2020 unless savings are made.
This could mean fewer nurses, a reduction in beds and a shift in focus from treatment to prevention in the future in an effort to cut costs.
The plans were leaked by Reading Borough Council on Wednesday after the authority raised “serious concerns about transparency” of the document.
Council leader Jo Lovelock said: “We have serious reservations about a process in which a five year plan for local health services can be drawn up behind closed doors and without proper public, or indeed political, scrutiny.
“It is absolutely essential that draft proposals of this magnitude are brought into the open, publicly discussed and given proper consideration, which is why we have taken the decision to publish the plans.”
A breakdown of the cuts sees the Berkshire West clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) needing to save £59m, Royal Berkshire NHS Trust £45m, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust £21m, and South Central Ambulance Service £12m.
Of the £479m total for the region, £34m would come from savings in the workforce, including reducing the number of nurses.
Graham Jones, West Berkshire Council’s executive member for public health, said: “West Berkshire Council is an interested observer of developments.
“As one of several local authorities within the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan area, we engage with the process to make sure that due regard is given to the needs and interests of our residents.
“We are committed to ensuring that the plan is subjected to appropriate democratic investigation when the latest submission goes before our overview and scrutiny management commission in early December and that appropriate consultation is completed.”
The cuts come after NHS England revealed earlier this year that it needed to save £22billion nationally by 2020/21.
A public consultation into the plans is expected to be launched early next year.
The draft NHS plan said: “There are a number of challenges facing the NHS that require us to transform the way in which we provide local services and care and ensure local communities are the healthiest they can be.
“If we carry on as we are, there will be a financial gap of £479m by 2020.
“Our vision is to improve health outcomes and add value by working together and in doing so close the health and wellbeing, care and quality and financial gaps.”