One hundred Somerset learning disability service redundancies predicted

Over one in ten staff supporting people with learning disabilities could be made redundant in a new round of cuts announced by Discovery. The company, which runs Somerset’s learning disability service, put out a 45 day consultation on an unspecified number of redundancies. UNISON, the union representing staff affected, has warned that the length of […]

UNISON Get Active awards for Paul and Ewa

Get Active awards for Somerset learning disability service campaigners

Two of Somerset’s campaigners for good services for people with learning disabilities won UNISON Get Active awards. Paul Kitto is UNISON LD convenor and works for Dimensions, the company the Learning Disability Service was outsourced to. He has led the Care not Cost campaign against cuts to services in the county. Paul won the “Eric […]

Discovery performance report “a sham”

Public service union UNISON has branded a Discovery performance report on the outsourced learning disability service (LDS) provider “a sham” ahead of a Somerset County Council scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday (8 November). The comments come following concerns the Discovery performance report does not reflect service quality since the outsourcing six months ago. The Somerset […]

Somerset LDS consultative ballot

99% reject Discovery Learning Disability cuts

A consultative ballot of UNISON members in Somerset’s Learning Disability Service has returned a 99% “reject” response to Discovery’s cuts. Almost all Learning Disability staff are UNISON members and 70% participated in the vote. Staff voted following Discovery’s decision to unilaterally end the consultation process without addressing their concerns. After Somerset County Council outsourced the Learning […]

Learning Disability staff protest over pay cuts of up to £12000

Care workers at Somerset’s Learning Disability Service will this week step up their action over pay cuts ranging from £1800 to £12000 per-year proposed by Discovery, the organisation now handed control. A “pay-slip-protest” has been organised by public service union UNISON, illustrating how much staff wages would drop by under Discovery’s plan and the damage […]

Thousands sign petition to save crumbling care service

Staff and service users from Somerset’s Learning Disability Service will today deliver a petition to the County Council, calling for council bosses to honour their promises and act to save the crumbling care service now in the hands of “Discovery”. Signed by over 5000 people, the petition will force a debate at the full council […]

New council must stop cuts to Learning Disability Service

As LDS staff face pay cuts of almost £1800, UNISON calls on newly elected Somerset councillors to listen to public outcry over the future of the service

Somerset learning disability staff defiant as transfer day raises fears over jobs and wages​

Staff in Somerset’s learning disability service keep on fighting despite transferring today to Dimensions UK, who have threatened wage cuts and restructuring.

Learning disability service showdown over transfer date

Staff at Somerset’s Learning Disability Service (LDS) will today (15 March 2017) hold a silent rally outside the final cabinet meeting before pre-election purdah kicks in.  LDS staff will use the slogan “#guiltyofcaring”, reflecting their feeling of being targeted for their commitment to the LDS.  Staff are deeply concerned over the Tory council’s decision to hand […]

Somerset scrutiny meeting puts learning disability cuts under the microscope

Plans to outsource Somerset’s learning disability service (LDS) to the national company Dimensions are to come under fire this Wednesday (1 March 2017) at a county council scrutiny committee. Councillors on the committee will examine the case put forward by the cabinet to see whether Dimensions’ plan aligns with the service that staff and service […]

Disability service staff and users to lobby Somerset council over threat to care

Staff and service users of Somerset’s learning disability service (LDS) will this Wednesday (15.02.17) attend the county council meeting to pressure their representatives to stick to promises made over the transfer of the LDS to Dimensions. Cabinet members previously assured stakeholders that sustainable, quality care was the driver of any handover, not cost-cutting. But plans have […]

Focus on care not cost for Somerset’s learning disability service

  Staff and service users of Somerset’s learning disability service have reacted with dismay to the Tory council’s decision to hand it over to a national company with plans to cut jobs and quality. Dimensions, the company who ended up as the only bidder in the county council’s contracting process, is proposing to make staff […]

Why we have to save Somerset’s Learning Disabilities service

In April, Learning Disabilities services in Somerset are set to be handed over from Somerset County Council (SCC) to a new Somerset Social Enterprise. UNISON is concerned that this is a money-saving exercise which will shift the focus away from care and onto cost. Martyn Krajniewski is a Support Leader at Colliers Court, Frome and […]