Council budget reductions to the Family Nurse Partnership in Manchester will see cuts of 12 nursing roles, potentially affecting over 150 young families.
The decision to cut the roles is due to cuts to the public health budget, leading to underfunded staff employment. In total,16 members of staff will be cut including two admin staff and two supervisors. The service has been cut by £770,000 in 2015/16.
'We will ensure that current users of the Family Nurse Partnership service continue to have the appropriate level of support,' a spokesperson from Manchester City Council said. 'A significant reduction in the national public health grant and ongoing financial challenges within the NHS mean that we have to prioritise services to benefit local people in the most effective way.'
The Family Nurse Partnership is a programme led by specialist nurses to support first-time young mothers under the age of 20. The programme has existed in Manchester since 2006. It is designed to improve antenatal outcomes, child development and the mother's confidence and self-esteem. The nurses work with parents until the child is two.
‘Withdrawing this service will be detrimental in affecting the health, wellbeing and life chances of both the parents and the children,’ said Unite’s regional officer for Manchester Keith Hutson. ‘Cutting this programme abruptly half way through treatment could have a negative impact on 152 vulnerable families in Manchester.’
Unite has launched a petition to urge the council to reverse the cut and nurses and Unite members protested against the decision this week.