Serco nurse cuts in Cornwall 'will affect patient care'

Patient care in Cornwall will suffer if a private company which runs an out-of-hours doctors service goes ahead with proposed nursing cuts, a union claims.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said members had told it that Serco was proposing a 40% cut in nurses.

The move could see between 15 and 20 of 35 staff across the county losing jobs, it added.

Serco said staffing models needed to be reviewed because it was introducing a new call handling system.

The RCN has also claimed that remaining staff would be forced to reapply for their positions with changes to terms and conditions, which included significant pay cuts.

Serco said the new system was specifically designed to improve care and that it was "carrying out a consultation exercise with relevant members of staff".

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust said as long as patient care was not affected, any changes were an internal matter for Serco.

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