School nursing services in a south London borough will no longer be run by the current provider, leading to claims that more than 20 nurse jobs are at risk.
From spring 2017, Bromley Healthcare’s contract for providing the service will come to an end after Bromley Council said it was reviewing the area’s school nursing provision.
“In my experience once a service is cut in Bromley that is it”
Local union representatives claimed more than 20 school nurse jobs were at risk and that the service may not continue at all from next year.
Unison organiser Michael Crouch said the school nurses had been advised by social enterprise Bromley Healthcare to find new employment and that all school nursing services could be disbanded entirely.
He said the nurses had a wealth of knowledge and experience that would be hard to replace.
A Bromley Council spokesman said the local authority was working with partners to review the provision of all of its children’s health services.
“Bromley Council is working with partners in Bromley to review the nature and provision of all of our children’s health services, including school nursing, because we believe that together we can achieve better value for money as well as improved services for children and young people in Bromley,” he said.
“We believe that together we can achieve better value for money as well as improved services for children and young people in Bromley”
“We will also be engaging with schools as part of this review,” he added.
In a previous report by Nursing Times in May the council denied it had proposed to cut school nursing services altogether.
A Labour councillor for one of the local wards warned that “once a service is cut in Bromley that is it”. Vanessa Allen said: “The Bromley Labour group objected to the proposal to cut this service back in February at the budget meeting, and in my experience once a service is cut in Bromley that is it.
“I do recall some mention of seeking alternative sources of funding but this seems not to have materialised,” she said.
Further talks between Bromley Healthcare and union representatives are due to take place on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Bromley Healthcare confirmed its contract would not be extended beyond March 2017.
He said the service employed 23 staff who provide school nursing for all primary and secondary schools within Bromley and that all affected employees would be redeployed where possible.