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Domestic jobs face the
axe at town’s hospital

    By Gina Hobbs  
       
   

THE future is looking uncertain for domestic staff at Withernsea Community Hospital.
The Gazette can reveal 12 jobs are at risk after domestic and ancillary staff were given a letter informing them of a risk of redundancies. The letter from Outsourced Client Solutions – OCS – contracted by NHS Property Services to run domestic facilities, came just eight days after the City Health Care Partnership (CHP CIC) halted admissions to community and palliative care beds due to staff shortages.
It has angered local East Riding Councillor Lyn Healing. “What annoys me most is how shoddily we, the residents, nurses and ancillary staff have been treated, the consultation was a farce and only a tick box exercise; none of our concerns were taken into consideration and still aren’t it seems. I would just like to remind the Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Property and OCS that we are all people with beating hearts, we are not cardboard cut outs.”
Marian Mead, the chair of Withernsea Health Forum told the Gazette: “I am appalled by the closure of the ward and the fact these domestic staff will lose
their jobs, it is so sad. How can they be finished before we have got the result on the future of the hospital services from Health Secetary Jeremy Hunt. I don’t understand the thinking behind it.”
Staff who are affected by the mooted cuts did not wish to speak. However, the Gazette has seen a copy of the letter to staff dated August 24 which says:“As you are aware following our group meeting on August 25, 2017, there is a risk the company may have to consider the possibility of redundancies and your position has been provisionally selected as being at risk of redundancy; due to our client NHS Property Services no longer requiring the services of domestic, (staff) due to the closure of the community ward area at Withernsea Hospital and the associated services that supported its day to day operations.”
It says the company is ‘considering making all roles within the domestic service redundant’ because the community ward closure determines the‘revised cleaning hours on the site are vastly reduced to fall in line with national cleaning standards.’ It then stresses it is a ‘provisional decision,’ saying it will‘continue to try and identify ways in which your redundancy can be avoided.’

City Health Care Partnership said it gave three months’ notice of the termination of their contract with NHS Property Services when the announcement was made to suspend admissions to Withernsea Hospital, as facilities management would not be necessary for an empty ward.
“Continuing to pay for these services would be an inappropriate use of precious NHS resources while we wait for a decision fromthe Secretary of State for Health on East Riding of Yorkshire’s plans for changes to how care is provided,” a spokesperson said.
A spokesperson from NHS Property Services said: “We are really sorry to have to put staff in this position, and we will make every effort to redeploy people into other roles where possible.

We cannot expect the NHS to continue to pay for services if wards are closed
and contracts terminated, so we have no choice but to take this action. We always work together with commissioners and providers to ensure services are
appropriately tailored to meet local needs.”
Alex Searle the director of Commissioning and Transformation at NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The CCG is aware that CHCP CIC has given notice on the facilities contract they hold with NHS Property Services in relation to the community ward. CHCP CIC is fully aware that we are still awaiting a decision from the Secretary of State for Health on the longer term future plan for the ward.”

 
         
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