GMB Magazine GMB25 Centre Point Summer 2016 - Page 6

TAKING ACTION nditions On pay and co GMB OUT IN FORCE The care home’s owners are warned top be careful... e m o h e Car CONFUSION With job cuts and a reduction of places threatened, GMB stands up to protect Heartlands care home G MB is fighting for both the residents and staff at Heartlands Care Home in Yardley, which is owned by County Court Care. Having acquired the home in January, the company unveiled plans to refurbish it. A reduction in the number of residents by more than 50 per cent was announced, GMB was de-recognised by the new owner, and the company was planning to make 38 of 86 staff redundant. MORTALITY FEARS GMB and Labour MP Jess Philips stepped in to oppose the move, and County Court is to rethink its decisions. Its plans would have discriminated against residents whose funding comes from Birmingham City Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group. Private residents would not have been affected. Now the company says it will move 36 of the 70 residents elsewhere but their places won’t be lost. However, moving elderly and vulnerable patients can be disastrous, Justine Jones, GMB organiser, with mortality rates as high said: “Carers tell us they feel as 43 per cent. that they are too short-staffed Jess Philips said: “I’m to cope with the current still concerned about number of residents, moving this number of but still have to provide vulnerable residents. decent care. They have The fact is that there to support residents and are significant risks families who are worried associated with moving about what’s going to residents from a care happen, while facing the home and this needs to be prospect of 35 staff being handled with the upmost care made redundant. JESS PHILLIPS and dignity. Country Court Care “To make matters worse the MP against the move. has to be aware that this isn’t just company has now announced a business, this is about peoples’ that it wants to remove all homes, the place where they feel safe part-time and flexible working. Heartlands and secure.” expects staff to work a full-time ‘three on, GMB is not only three off’ working pattern, irrespective of any outraged by County childcare or other caring commitments. Court Care’s can’t-pay“GMB will continue to support its members can’t-stay attitude to through this process, but we have little local authority funded confidence in a company that treats both residents, but is standing residents and staff in this way.” up for members who are The company is to assess which patients still wondering about will be moved during the refurbishment and their jobs. With more than half the is consulting social services. While changes residents moving, there is a lot of insecurity are made at the home, GMB is watching what for everyone at the home. County Court Care does closely. 06 CENTRE POINT – GMB Birmingham and West Midlands GMB25.Centre_Point_06_07.indd 6 14/06/2016 08:11 ©iStock.com “We have little confidence in this company”