Scottish government must reverse decision to cut 62 community health jobs in Glasgow, says UNISON

The decision to cut around 60 jobs in Glasgow’s community health services will have a severe impact on those who rely on alcohol and drugs support, health visits, hospital discharges and older people’s services, says the union today (Friday).

UNISON has this week written to Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for NHS recovery, health and social care, calling on him to reverse the cuts.

Without proper consultation, managers at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde announced that 62 posts will be cut, following the budget set by Glasgow City Integration Joint Board earlier this year.

In its letter, UNISON says: “These cuts do not just mean a permanent reduction in staffing, but a reduction in services provided to the people of Glasgow.”

It adds: “Cuts to these services mean that the persistent, life-limiting health inequalities experienced by the population of Glasgow, in comparison to elsewhere in Scotland, will grow.”

The cuts come at a time when NHS services are ‘on their knees’ says UNISON. The letter describes how staff are “exhausted, morale at rock bottom and in the midst of a recruitment and retention crisis with most teams working short staffed.”

It continues: “To remove posts from this area just locks in staffing shortages and jeopardises the the Scottish government’s aim of delivering consistent, safe and high-quality care to people and families across Scotland.”

Removing posts will make staff shortages worse meaning health services in Glasgow will take a turn for the worse, warns the union.

UNISON Scotland regional organiser Lorcan Mullen said: “Cutting these posts means the staffing crisis in Glasgow will get even worse. Employees can’t be expected to continue to work under such severe pressure.

“Cutting jobs in alcohol and drug rehabilitation services makes no sense when Scotland has the worst drug death tragedies in Europe.

“Ministers must stop restore these jobs immediately if they are serious about reducing drug deaths, pressure in hospitals and improving the health of the people of Scotland.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the largest union in the NHS representing 50,000 NHS workers across Agenda for Change pay grades including: nurses, health care support workers, midwives, domestics, porters, and administrative workers. The union has membership in every health board in Scotland. Agenda for Change (NHS terms and conditions) covers most health workers in the NHS, apart from doctors and dentists.

– UNISON’s letter

Media contacts:
Lorcan Mullen: 07903 853116
Danny Phillips: 07944 664110