Shropshire health visitor posts to be cut due to new contract

Image source, Thinkstock
Image caption, Shropshire Defend Our NHS said up to 22 posts were to go, out of about 50 helping parents and young children

Nearly half of Shropshire's health visitors are set to lose their roles in a cuts programme set to begin in October, a campaign group says.

Shropshire Defend Our NHS said up to 22 posts would go, out of about 50 helping parents and young children, following a contract awarded by Shropshire Council.

Nursery nurses who work alongside health visitors face pay cuts of up to £2,800 a year, the campaign group said.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust said no job losses were expected.

The trust, the existing service provider which has been awarded the new contract, said it was working with its staff to develop a "new model of care".

"While we do not expect there to be any job losses, some of our staff will be asked to work differently and we will support them through this process."

The spokesperson added it was a model of care that would "involve some innovative changes to the way our health visiting and school nursing services work together".

The NHS campaign group said health visitors were now expected to apply for their own jobs, with between 20 and 22 posts to go.

'Children at risk'

Spokeswoman for the group Gill George said it was a brilliant service, "all about keeping young children healthy and safe" and included picking up on issues with health and development early.

She said: "Children will be put at risk unless these cuts are withdrawn.

"Also, of course, the long-term costs to the NHS will be way higher."

Shropshire Council said: "We have been working very closely with the trust to redesign a service that continues to meet the needs of our population, within the resources we have available."

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