UPDATE: Future of borough's school nurses in doubt? Council looking at ways to 'achieve better value for money'
PUBLISHED: 08:58 29 April 2016 | UPDATED: 08:58 29 April 2016
Public service union says its members have voted to try to save the PRUH's cancer unit and schools nurses
THE future of the borough’s 29 school nurses is in doubt claims the public service union Unison.
It says a meeting was held by Bromley Healthcare, which runs the service, on Thursday (April 28) at the Willows Clinic in Chislehurst where Bromley’s school nurses were told the service could be disbanded.
Unison area organiser Michael Crouch told the Bromley Times the decision was ‘unprecedented’.
He said: “Bromley seems to have gone mad with health issues, what with the Chartwell Cancer Unit at Princess Royal University Hospital as well. We are used to having services cut but this is London’s biggest borough and now it seems the school nurses, all 29 of them, are to go.”
The news was also criticised by Sue Sulis, of the Bromley Community Care Protection Group.
She said: “I don’t know the details but this is very concerning.
“There are so many children in the borough needing to use food banks, and they need to be checked for malnutrition.
“This comes off the back of very significant cuts in the council’s public health budget.”
She added: “It’s not just parents, I think most people generally would be concerned because it’s important to pick up on child abuse and illnesses.”
Bromley council admitted it was reviewing its services and was looking at ways to improve ‘value for money’.
A spokesperson said: “Bromley Council and Bromley CCG as the funding agencies are working jointly 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. We will also be engaging with the schools as part of this review.”
And a spokesman for Bromley Healthcare said: “We currently provide a school nursing service in Bromley. We have been advised by London Borough of Bromley of proposals to decommission the service and ahead of receiving formal notification we are working closely with our staff to ensure they are fully supported at this time.”
In a further development, Unison’s Michael Crouch added: “Our Bromley hospital branch has voted to campaign to save the Chartwell Cancer Unit and our school nurses.”