Suffolk: Union “concerned” by the way Foundation Trust has handled redundancy situation


- Credit: IAN BURT

Union chiefs have criticised the way the redundancy procedure at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been handled – claiming workers who have been told they can now apply for jobs have already made “life-changing” decisions.

The trust announced this week that mental health workers who had been made redundant as part of a £40million cost-saving exercise would be invited to apply for jobs following a review.

Officials said extra funding from clinical commissioning groups meant they could reduce the number of redundancies which, when first announced in October, meant 400 jobs could be at risk.

Unison has welcomed the news but admitted there were still concerns about the impact the situation has had on workers.

A spokesman said: “We have grave concerns about the way that this situation has been handled, and in particular the devastating impact on those staff who have made life changing decisions and commitments, having been told definitively that they were being made redundant, with some expecting to leave as soon as 1 December.

“We urge NSFT to listen and respond to the concerns that Unison have raised throughout this consultation; that it is simply not possible to see the same number of patients with 19% fewer clinical staff without compromising the quality and safety of care.

“We hope that NSFT will work with Unison to put pressure on commissioners, members of parliament and the department of health to secure the funding needed to safeguard our services.”

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Jane Marshall-Robb, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, said a 45-day consultation with impacted staff has been launched to discuss new job opportunities and listen to their concerns.

She added: “The Trust understands the concerns of those staff who have been affected by this decision about voluntary redundancies.

“However, in line with ours and Unison’s objectives, it has always been the Trust’s plan to minimise redundancies. The creation of new services and extra funding from commissioners has enabled us to secure more jobs than expected.”