Last year Sutton Council in Surrey, decided to cut the money it paid social enterprise organisations that provided care to people with a learning difficulty (formally known as mentally handicapped) residents, clients and patients. These residents, clients and patients had been cared for at Orchard Hill in Carshalton.
With the move to community care the residents at Orchard Hill were transferred to housing associations and social enterprises. The dedicated care staff were also transferred with the patients to keep the continuity of care under EU regulations outlined in TUPE.
Once these service were transferred out of Orchard Hill, the contract was transferred to the local council.
In 2011 Sutton Council informed the organisations that as a result of national cuts in funding from central government, they were making cuts of 10.5 million and passing on 20-30% cuts to providers such as those that provided care to vulnerable residents. This left the provider organisations with no other option but to cut the pay of dedicated care staff.
Long serving care staff had their pay cut by thousands of pounds, their pension withdrawn, holiday and sick pay cut, all this despite being covered by TUPE. Some single mothers even lost their homes, others were forced to leave their clients and work for other organisations, many others are now living on the breadline.
These dedicated nursing and care staff have been treated appalling, yet were told by the Council leader that "The former Orchard Hill staff are paid significantly more than the market rate" and you can see from the letter below that local LibDem Tom Brake MP (lawyer) said it was legal to do so and there was nothing that could be done.
At the end of the day we don't care what council and what party makes cuts to staff pay and conditions, at a time when the rich get tax cuts and councillors expenses are not cut. We simply ask why is it that hard working dedicated care staff pay the price every time !.