May 23 2013 Latest news:
By Lizzie Parry Health reporter
Friday, March 8, 2013
A PRIVATE firm proposing to axe around 137 community health jobs in Suffolk is to hold the first public engagement event to canvass the views of people in the county.
Last October, Serco faced criticism from employees concerned that suggestions the axe will fall on more than 30 community nurses, nine specialist and district nurses could pose a “risk to patients”.
The outcry prompted calls for a public consultation and sparked Suffolk’s Health Scrutiny Committee to voice its concerns and back calls for engagement.
In January the firm announced it was committed to public engagement – three months after launching its staff consultation.
Sharon Colclough, Serco’s Director of Community Services, said, “We are committed to public engagement and, since being appointed to deliver NHS community health services in Suffolk just under a year ago, we have undertaken a great deal of engagement.
However, we recognise the need to do more and we welcome the Health Scrutiny Committee’s support in this respect.
The first in a series of Question Time-type events designed to give people the chance to find out more about the way services will be managed in the future is taking place at Kesgrave Community Centre next Thursday.
Senior staff from Serco will be on hand to explain proposals to re-model community healthcare services.
Members of the public can attend the event next Thursday at the community centre in Twelve Acre Approach from 7-9pm.
A further eight events will take place across Suffolk in the coming weeks.