Unite, Britain’s largest trade union, will hold a demonstration on Wednesday 30 November against council cuts to the family nurse partnership (FNP) in Manchester which will affect over 150 families.
Family nurses, members of Unite the union, will protest outside Manchester town hall from 08.30 before Wednesday’s full council meeting to raise public awareness and urge the council to reconsider its decision which will result in 16 staff being axed including 12 family nurses.
Due to reductions to the public health budget nationally and additional pressures identified by Central Manchester Foundation Trust (CMFT) due to underfunded staff employment, the FNP services have been cut by £770,000 in 2015/16.
FNP is an evidence-based programme delivered by specially trained nurses to first-time young mothers under the age of 20. The FNP has been commissioned in Manchester for the last 10 years, and aims to improve antenatal outcomes, child development and the mother's confidence and self-esteem. Family nurses work intensively with young parents until the child is two, delivering a programme aimed to improve the aspirations for young parents and their children.
Unite regional officer, Keith Hutson said: “Our members are angry that Manchester city council and CMFT have chosen to cut the Family Nurse Partnership without consulting staff members or service users.
“This is about local people looking out for our community. Withdrawing this service will be detrimental in affecting the health, wellbeing and life chances of both the parents and the children.
“These are dedicated nurses who made a commitment to working with these young people for a period of two and half years – cutting this programme abruptly half way through treatment could have a negative impact on 152 vulnerable families in Manchester.
“This service is about investing in the future, and the wellbeing and outcomes of those who through no fault of their own find themselves on the margins of society. In the long term cutting this service is not an effective cost saving.
“We’re calling on the public to come and join family nurses and young mothers at Wednesday’s protest to send a strong message to Manchester council to reverse the cuts to FNP.”
A petition set up by Unite gained over 1,000 signatures in less than a week highlighting the public outcry to this decision. To sign the petition visit: www.change.org/p/sir-richard-leese-save-the-family-nurse-partnership-in-manchester.
Notes to editors:
There are 16 staff (12 family nurses, 2 supervisors and 2 admin) affected by the cuts.
For more information please contact Unite regional officer Keith Hutson on 07798 531 005 or Unite communications officer Karen Viquerat on 07768 931 316 or 0151 559 2003.
To sign the petition visit: www.change.org/p/sir-richard-leese-save-the-family-nurse-partnership-in-manchester
For further information on the Family Nurse Partnership download the information pack here: http://fnp.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/contentuploads/fnp_information_pack_-_an_overview.pdf