Staff and relatives of service users at Calderstones are to take part in a demonstration today against planned cuts in services and pay.
The rally follows the trust’s decision to close ‘peripheral homes’ and move service users into the community where staff and relatives fear they will not have the necessary support.
Under the closure plans, staff currently working in the peripheral homes are to be redeployed to the low secure unit in Whalley, where their pay will be cut. Down-banding and cuts in unsocial hours pay could see staff losing as much as £5,000 a year.
Tim Ellis, UNISON North West Regional Organiser said:
“Vulnerable people who are currently cared for by qualified NHS staff in appropriate accommodation will now be moved into the community. Their care provision is to be contracted out of the NHS and provided by the lowest bidder. This is care on the cheap and it’s little wonder that service users’ relatives are worried about the impact of these changes.
“The NHS is treating its staff disgracefully in seeking to use their fear of losing their jobs as an excuse to attack their pay. NHS staff are struggling to get by on low wages as it is, and the NHS risks driving experienced and committed staff out of the sector. Staff are worried about losing their homes and many cannot afford to carry on working for the NHS.
“The NHS should be paying staff fairly and standing up for the interests of service users.”
The rally takes place at the Calderstones Trust HQ in Whalley from 12 noon today (Wednesday 24 June).