Family nurses are urging Manchester council to reconsider cutbacks to specialist nursing service for first-time young mothers under the age of 20.
Unite will hold a demonstration on 30 November against council cuts to the family nurse partnership in Manchester, which the union said would result in 16 staff being axed including 12 specialist nurses.
Family nurses will protest outside Manchester town hall from 08.30 before Wednesday’s full council meeting to raise awareness and urge the council to reconsider the decision that will affect over 150 families and that the union claims has been decided without consultation.
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As previously reported by Nursing Times, the service is threatened due to national reductions to public health budgets and additional pressures identified by Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, which has the contract to run the service for the council.
The family nurse partnership has been commissioned in Manchester for the last 10 years. Other public health nursing services around the country are also at risk due to financial pressures facing local authorities.
“These are dedicated nurses who made a commitment to working with these young people”
Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: “Our members are angry that Manchester city council and CMFT have chosen to cut the family nurse partnership without consulting staff members or service users.
“This is about local people looking out for our community,” he said. “Withdrawing this service will be detrimental in affecting the health, wellbeing and life chances of both the parents and the children.
“These are dedicated nurses who made a commitment to working with these young people for a period of two and half years – cutting this programme abruptly half way through treatment could have a negative impact on 152 vulnerable families in Manchester,” he said.
“This service is about investing in the future, and the wellbeing and outcomes of those who through no fault of their own find themselves on the margins of society. In the long term cutting this service is not an effective cost saving,” said Mr Hutson.
He added: “We’re calling on the public to come and join family nurses and young mothers at Wednesday’s protest to send a strong message to Manchester council to reverse the cuts to the family nurse partnership.”
A petition recently set up by Unite has so far gained over 1,000 signatures.