Health firm hits back at union’s claims over jobs

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CARE home owners have denied claims they would sack staff who failed to complete online training courses in their free time.

The GMB union put out a statement claiming workers at Woodcot Lodge, in Rowner Road, Gosport, were given until today to finish 11 courses online or they would be dismissed.

The union says staff were told to complete the modules at home once they had finished their shifts.

But healthcare firm Four Seasons has hit back over the claims, saying the training is essential but no-one will be sacked.

The company said the training is mandatory but can be completed during quiet periods at work or at home.

One nurse at Woodcot Lodge, who did not want to be named, told The News: ‘We were all really angry about it.

‘We shouldn’t have to be doing that in our own time.

‘They should be having study days for us and it should be paid for.

‘A lot of us have children and grandchildren we have to look after so we don’t have the time.’

Woodcot Lodge has 84 beds and 78 staff.

It cares for people with dementia or those who need looking after due to old age.

The care home was taken over by Four Seasons earlier this year from the previous owners Southern Cross.

According to the health industry’s standards watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, Woodcot Lodge meets all of the government’s required standards of care, staffing and management.

A spokeswoman for Four Seasons, the company which runs Woodcot Lodge, said: ‘They have to complete the work at some stage as it is a regulatory requirement but no-one has been told they will be fired. Health and social care commissioners, residents and relatives rightly expect that care is delivered by appropriately-qualified staff. Employees in Four Seasons care homes, in common with those of other operators, are required by regulatory authorities to show they have completed mandatory training in relevant aspects of care provision.

‘All our employees are provided with an e-learning facility that enables them to complete coursework in quiet periods during shifts or in their own time as is convenient.’