Sixty health visitors could be cut from Nottinghamshire services due to changes in contracts.
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the county’s health visiting teams will lose 38 whole-time equivalent health visitor posts from a workforce of about 138, under the new contract.
According to Unite, the 38 jobs could translate into a loss of up to 60 health visitors, as many health visitors are part time.
According to the Trust, the skill mix requires significant changes to the existing workforce. Due to the reduced funding and the requirements of the new contract a Trust spokesperson said the reduction needed to be made.
‘The Trust has started a review of staffing and posts and will work with staff found to be at risk to minimise job losses and ensure they are redeployed within the organisation wherever possible,’ said Paul Smeeton, executive director of Local Partnerships at the Trust.
‘We currently have a number of vacancies and will work closely with staff to support those who want to stay working for the Trust.’
Healthcare union Unite has condemned the plans. ‘The grievous cuts planned for the health visitor workforce will mean that the 20 lead clinics will end, which will have a disastrous impact, particularly in already deprived areas of the county,’ said Unite lead officer for health in the East Midlands Garry Guye. ‘Vital child protection and safeguarding services will also be under threat as there will be fewer health visitors employed.’
The new contract will consolidate the current health visiting, school nursing, Family Nurse Partnership, National Child Measurement Programme and breastfeeding support services under one contract, forming 20 new ‘Healthy Families Teams’.