Council plans attacking elderly care is appalling, says UNISON

UNISON has condemned Bristol City Council for forging ahead with plans to shut down care homes and day centres, leaving the elderly and vulnerable with nowhere else to go.

The closures will mean the loss of more than ninety full time posts across both services and, as many staff work part time, this could mean many more staff affected.  Although the council have given an undertaking that they will redeploy affected staff into vacant posts in the council wherever possible, that still means that there will be more than 90 fewer people working directly with some of the most vulnerable people in Bristol.  In day services this is almost one third of the workforce and in residential care it is one sixth.  Many of these are UNISON members.

Across the whole of Health and Social Care the council is proposing making almost 150 posts redundant as part of a plan to save £5.1 million pounds from their health and social care budget.

Judy Wilson, UNISON Regional Organiser, said:

"These cuts are an appalling attack on the elderly and most vulnerable in our society.  With an ageing population, the impact on elderly service users and their carers will be devastating.  Many carers of people with learning difficulties are, themselves, elderly.  UNISON does not believe that the council should be making swingeing cuts to front line services and the people who provide those services."

"We're bitterly disappointed that Bristol City Council have decided that only three options for residential services and three options for day services should now be put to consultation, all of which will see closure of the majority of care homes and day centres, with one option seeing the closure of all."

Following initial plans announced in November 2011, on 29 March 2012 Bristol City Council approved a decision to move forwards on the second stage of two separate consultations for closure of residential care homes for older people and Day Centres for the elderly and disabled people.  This final phase of the consultations opened on 2 April and will close on 25 June 2012, with final decisions being made by the council in July 2012.

UNISON continues to be involved in the consultation on these proposals.



For further information contact:

Judy Wilson, Regional Organiser, UNISON South West c/o 01823 285318

Issued:  Friday 1 June 2012


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