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Gloucestershire Business News

Two-county NHS merger could mean job losses, claims union

A health union has spoken of its concern over news of the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire NHS merger.

UNISON said the merger could mean disruption to staff and possible job losses.

And they added staff within the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trusts could be feeling worried about today's announcement.

Union spokesperson Francis O'Ryan, of the Gloucestershire Health and Community Branch, said: "Health staff will understandably feel nervous at today's announcement.

"Experience suggests mergers often mean serious disruption to staff, and job losses too. For that reason we'll be doing everything we can to support everyone in the two trusts through this worrying time.

"The priority will be to ensure that post-merger staff will still be employed on NHS contracts, with decent pay and conditions. At first glance the proposals would appear a better option than bringing in private firms to run community services, as has happened recently in Bath.

"But before staff can be reassured, their unions need detail of what the trusts are planning and what this means for individuals, jobs and services.

"NHS employees want to be able to get on with looking after patients, free from the fear of constant change and upheaval. This will only happen when the NHS is properly funded, and the government gives all health workers."

The 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has 2,300 staff providing specialist mental health and learning disability services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. They provided care to more than 40,000 people last year.

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