Health staff plan royal protests
3:50pm Sunday 20th January 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of staff who face losing their jobs in cuts at the Royal Bolton Hospital are planning to stage a protest when Princess Anne visits the town next week.
Unions have organised two demonstrations to coincide with the visit on Tuesday, when the Princess Royal will officially open the flagship health, leisure and research centre Bolton One and tour the maternity Centre of Excellence at the Royal Bolton.
The Trust is currently holding a 90-day consultation period over 500 job cuts as it tries to save £50 million over three years.
It is more than £12 million in debt and is being watched by the health watchdog Monitor for financial failings and poor governance.
Health unions and the staff under threat of redundancy, including nurses and other frontline staff, have planned protests at Bolton One and at the hospital.
Harry Hanley, secretary of staff side at the Trust, said the royal visit was “insensitive” and an “insult” to staff who could be losing their jobs.
He appealed to members of the public to join the protests and support the staff.
Mr Hanley added: “We know the hospital want it as a good news story but it is not a good news story for our members.”
A spokesman from Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “While we understand that staff are worried about posts potentially going, it is a pity that the Staff Side has chosen to demonstrate at the same time as we have a royal visit.
“The visit is the official opening of the extended maternity unit and marks not only significant improvements in facilities for women and babies, but also the hard work by staff to make it happen.”