Staff at Calderstones Hospital staged a protest last week in a bid to save their jobs.
The trade union Unison organised the demonstration last Wednesday at the Whalley-based hospital, which saw employees demonstrate at the entrance to the site.
We are like-minded organisations, we support a particular group of service users and reports such as the recent NHS staff survey shows a similar staff profile in many areasMark Hindle, Calderstones NHS Trust
The protest was in response to reports that Calderstones bosses were in discussions with Mersey Care NHS Trust about a potential merger, which could result in the redeployment of support workers who deal with vulnerable adults with learning difficulties.
However, CEO Mark Hindle, of Calderstones NHS Trust, claims the merger is important to develop a centre of excellence and he has been in talks with staff since September last year about the long term strategic plan and to ensure that all staff are aware of the hospital’s proposals.
Mr Hindle said: “Calderstones and Mersey Care NHS Trust have a history of working together, sharing appointments and skills in the specialist areas of learning disability and secure services. Over the last six months or so this has moved up a gear as we have been formally working in a partnership with them to develop a new Medium Secure site in Maghull, Liverpool, which will give us more efficient capacity in the next financial year. This pooling of resources creates efficiencies and ultimately is a positive mechanism for supporting some of the most vulnerable offenders.
“Subject to the proper consultation period and planning permissions, the Maghull project will see construction work over the next few years. It is one example of the working relationship between our two Trusts. Later this year, both boards will examine an outline business case for closer co-operation. This means exploring opportunities for how higher quality care can be provided for people with learning disabilities in a secure setting.
He added: “We are like-minded organisations, we support a particular group of service users and reports such as the recent NHS staff survey shows a similar staff profile in many areas. Joining up our thinking and creating new synergies such as the new-build in Maghull is the way forward for the NHS in general.”