Deprived families in Nottinghamshire will bear the brunt of plans to axe up to 60 health visitors due to the government’s pressure for NHS savings, Unite, the country’s largest union, warned today (Wednesday 16 November).
Unite, which embraces the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA), condemned plans to cut 38 whole time equivalent (WTE) health visitor posts from a workforce of about 138 by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
As many health visitors work part-time, the 38 WTE jobs could translate into a loss of up to 60 health visitors. The health visitors are expected to know their future from 9 January, following one-to-one interviews with line managers.
Unite lead officer for health in the East Midlands Garry Guye said: “The main reason for these cuts is directly linked to the government’s austerity drive to achieve £20 billion in so-called ‘efficiency savings’ from the NHS.
“This is compounded by the squeeze on the public health budget controlled by Nottinghamshire county council. The contract carried out by the trust on the council’s behalf is set to decline from £15.4 million this year to just over £13.6 million in the financial year 2018/19.
“Unite is strongly opposed to the proposed reduction in health visitor numbers and we are in the process of preparing counter proposals.
“We are calling for an urgent meeting with the trust management when we hope to raise genuine concerns about the wider professional issues.
“This is a very serious development in Nottinghamshire. The grievous cuts planned for the health visitor workforce will mean that the 20 ‘lead clinics’ will end, which will have a disastrous impact, particularly in already deprived areas of the county.
“Vital child protection and safeguarding services will also be under threat as there will be fewer health visitors employed.
“The trust is wrong and misguided if it believes that this work can be delegated to less qualified staff who are not registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) which is a key professional benchmark.”
According to the trust’s website, it is a major provider of mental health, intellectual disability and community healthcare services for the people of Nottinghamshire.
It sees about 190,000 people every year and employs 9,000 staff. Its annual budget / income are more than £400 million.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.