Merger of health services defended by council boss

A controversial move to merge two mental health services in Sandwell that will lead to job losses at the authority, has been defended by a council chief.

The Lyng Centre
The Lyng Centre

Sandwell Council’s In2Work and Mental Health Vocational Services, both housed in the Lyng Centre in West Bromwich, are set to be merged in a plan aimed at saving the authority money. It needs to save £120 million by 2016. The move will result in a number of staff positions being ‘deleted’, although it is not yet known how many jobs are actually at risk.

The council’s decision-making cabinet has given the green light to move ahead with the scheme, and a 45-day consultation period with affected employees and unions has now begun. Councillor Yvonne Davies, the borough’s adult services chief, said: “The service is in need of modernisation.

“There’s a lot of old fashioned provision that just needs being brought up to date. Consultation has now begun to see how we can go about brining those services into one single entity. We need to save more money wherever we can but actually these services have needed modernising for some time.”

“We need to make sure we’re providing the best services we can.”

The services were originally jointly-funded between the council and the Primary Care Trust, but after the latter’s abolition the council took on sole responsibility.

It has since conducted a review of the services, and officers suggested the restructure. Officers found that although the Mental Health Vocational Services’ work is to support people into training courses, this ‘has not translated into a significant throughput of people going on to successfully access employment’.

It has not yet been made clear how much the council could save from the move, but chiefs plan to try and relocate any workers whose posts are under threat to employment elsewhere within the authority.

If that exercise does not bear fruit, the staff will be made redundant.

It is the latest restructure proposed by the council, as it tries to remodel services and make £120m savings by 2016, in the wake of Government funding cuts. Last month, hundreds of teenagers descended on its Oldbury council house to noisily voice their protest against a £5.3 million reduction to the youth service’s budget.

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Comments for: "Merger of health services defended by council boss"

do lallytap

"staff positions being ‘deleted’"

How dare they talk about peoples jobs and livelihood as been deleted as if they are nothing

Pity we can't delete some of these bloody councillors off the council.

How can a reduction in workforce be of any benefit to our ever ageing and INCREASING population in the area.

I tell you what, when we reach a certain age before we go senile why not just push us all off a cliff and be done with it....Deleted my backside.

It may well be in the need of "Modernisation" but with "Modernisation" should come in an increase in staffing NOT a reduction.

Lets modernise this loony council once and for all and kick out all of these councillors who couldn't give a stuff about people other then themselves


"It is the latest restructure proposed by the council, as it tries to remodel services and make £120m savings by 2016, in the wake of Government funding cuts".

So it's nothing to do with this incompetent Labour run council wasting millions then?.

The only modernisation required is less waste on the pointless pen pushers that aren't really needed

But most of them are in the council running the show.

Voting soon so lets boot em out of their safe seats.


Kev, you got no chance of Labour being voted out of sandwell and they KNOW it ! The mind set of the Labour voting public in sandwell is cast back to the days that Labour is a working mans party (yeh right) and they will never be, look at the leader of the party to start with. The issue with people being "deleted"from council jobs, mainly at the top, take their redundancy then get a job under a different banner, better paid aswel or as consultants so they have no worries just a bit of "gardening leave".


smack on mate, all the conservatives in Sandwell are rejects from an independent party who got rid of the real tories. UKIP will get rid of the rest


So councils employ managers who have never run a chip shop “advise “ councillors, who then go on special training courses such as “How to chair a meeting” or “Developing questioning skills”, armed with these new found “qualifications and skills ”. a few post it notes and highlighter pens, off they go to meetings and prepare to correct all the borough's problems.

I now await a very expensive Consultants report which will sit around for 6 months while further councillor training is conducted in “Understanding Reports” and only after all of that the “enlightened” councillors will come to a politically inept response dictated by their masters.

The only modernisation required is to remove these Comedians, who are totally out of their depth. Coopers team play with peoples lives and either by cynical design or incompetence they are heading for another massive Sandwell failure.


just another sign of what a mess the n.h.s and the whole country is in. this council are a shambles and a disgrace. but would the other lot do any better. I doubt it