No Lay-Offs At Derry Children’s Homes

The Western Health and Social Care Trust has moved to allay immediate fears of job losses in children’s homes locally. Social services staff who work in local children’s care homes were told at a special meeting on Thursday that their jobs were secure, at least for now.

The Trust’s review of spending is considering whether the number of children’s homes in the Western Trust area should be cut as part of a ‘re-design of services’, which could involve children remaining “at home with their parents where this is safe and appropriate”. A move towards 24hr community-based family support services is being considered.

A spokesperson for WHSCT said staff had been told that there were no planned compulsory redundancies associated with the re-design.

Frances Robson, chair of the local health services watchdog, the Western Health Council, said that job cuts are anticipated in Derry as part of a £36m savings drive – across the Trust area – which was announced last week.

However she added that she had been assured by Trust bosses that “no definite measures have yet been decided”.