Sheffield workers concern over care move

Sheffield's Northern General Hospital
Sheffield's Northern General Hospital
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Hundreds of workers at a Sheffield care service are being moved to a new base at the Northern General Hospital.

The Community Intermediate Care Service, run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, offers short-term care and rehabilitation at home to people recovering from illnesses or a spell in hospital.

Treatment is provided by a team including nurses, physiotherapists and social workers, and the service is currently based at two ‘hubs’ in Ecclesfield and Norton.

But now around 240 workers are being moved to the Northern General, where they will share 50 desks. No jobs are believed to be affected.

Charlie Carruth, regional organiser for trade union Unison, said there were worries longer journeys to patients would ‘impact adversely on delivery and patient care’.

He said staff will also have to buy an annual pass costing £200 to park at the hospital – which still would not guarantee them a space.

Penny Brooks, the trust’s clinical director of community services, said CICS and social care staff recently teamed up to form a new service called Active Recovery, spending most of their time on home visits.

Ms Brooks said: “Currently there are a number of bases that staff can use for administration work.

“However the lease was due to expire on one of these bases and so it was decided to take the opportunity to enable closer team working by having one dedicated hub.

“There are fewer desks at the hub than the number of staff because all of the team are not at the base at the same point every day.

“We are consulting with staff and where there are individual issues we will look to see if we can minimise the impact.

“I would like to reassure patients that consideration will be given to travelling time to ensure patient care is not affected.”

Mr Carruth said: “There were reasons why the service was based across the city. They haven’t thought this through.”