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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Fifty NHS workers to be ‘sacked’ following site closure in Whalley

More than 50 NHS workers are facing termination without redundancy due to their inability to commute an 80-mile round trip after the closure of their current site, says the GMB Union.

The closure of the Calderstones site in Whalley, scheduled for Easter Sunday, is prompting the action.

Mersey Care NHS Trust plans to relocate services to Maghull Health Park near Liverpool and has indicated it will provide alternative roles where feasible.

However, the GMB union says these alternatives are unsuitable.

According to a union representative, more than 50 long-serving workers have been informed they could potentially work approximately 40 miles away in Liverpool.

Other members were offered positions within a local trust, which they cannot accept due to family and caregiving commitments.

GMB organiser Michael Clark criticised Mersey Care’s stance, labeling an 80-mile commute per shift as unreasonable.

He argued that by disregarding employees’ family and caregiving responsibilities and offering inadequate alternatives, the trust is neglecting its duty of care towards them. Clark insisted that these employees deserve better treatment and, if necessary, should be provided with the redundancy they are entitled to.

A spokesman for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Throughout this ongoing process, Mersey Care has supported all staff to continue their careers within the NHS by offering opportunities within our Trust and other local NHS organisations to protect their employment.”

He added that a consultation process would end on Easter Monday, saying “we will continue working with our workforce, staff side and partners to support staff and offer them suitable alternative roles where possible, subject to NHS employment regulations”.

The closure of the operations in Whalley follows a NHS England consultation in 2017 over transforming care for people with a learning disability.

 

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