Uncertain future for NHS care staff working at Gloucester prison
CARE staff at HMP Gloucester could be further casualties of the prison's closure.
Gloucester prison will close at the end of March after 222 years serving the area as the Ministry of Justice considered the crumbling building too expensive to run and maintain.
The 200 staff there now face redundancy or being relocated and it can now be revealed that NHS workers who look after the prison's care sector are also facing uncertainty over their futures.
A spokesman from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the prison care service, said discussions have begun over their futures. "We are talking with colleagues and staff-side representatives to identify suitable opportunities either within 2gether or the broader health and social care community," he said. "Our aim is to help make sure we support staff in their ongoing career choice and retain valuable skills within our county."
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Gloucester MP Richard Graham visited the prison on Friday to meet with governor Chantel King to discuss the closure.
"The governor has clear plans and communications and I am confident that these last two difficult months in HMP Gloucester's life will be well handled," he said.
"There is a lot of uncertainty for staff who have done a great job in this important community role.
"I've seen first-hand on visits what a good job 2gether staff do at the prison.
"On the issue of what happens to mental health staff when the prison closes, I first need to speak with chief executive Shaun Clee and the trust management to raise concerns with them."
Gloucester is one of six jails which will close, along with parts of three others, to save £63 million a year. The Government has said older prisons can cost twice that of more modern facilities.
Former prisoners have said the building is outdated, has a grim history of overcrowding with unacceptable living conditions.