Union says patients will suffer because of cuts in health jobs

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A health union claims patients will suffer because front line staff will be cut by the company running Suffolk Community Healthcare.

Unison says the 17 per cent of staff Serco wants to cut include 66 frontline staff including physiotherapists and nurses. But Serco, which took over on October 1, says new technologies and efficiency will give staff more time with patients.

Tim Roberts, Unison’s regional organiser, said “There is no way that Suffolk Community Healthcare can lose so many key professionals and maintain current services. These job losses will have massive impact on health services in Suffolk and we fear that patients will suffer.”

Paul Forden, managing director of Serco’s clinical healthcare business, said: “We have always been clear about our intention to further improve Suffolk’s community healthcare by investing in technology and increasing efficiency so that clinicians can spend more time caring for patients.

“As part of our new approach we will need to change the way our staff work and we have started consultations about proposals that would mean that there would be an overall reduction of 137 posts.”