WORKERS at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust (AWP) in Devizes walked out of Green Lanes Hospital during their lunch break to protest over proposed job cuts.

They held placards in a show of force outside the hospital gaining support from passing motorists who sounded their horns.

Memory service administrator Elizabeth Wilson said: "AWP are cutting down on admin staff. They want to de-band us making us work more for less money. We don't have enough doctors and nurses as it is. Support from the public is really good because one day they know that they may need our help and they want us to be there for there."

She said consultants, speciality doctors, call staff, occupational therapists had all backed the action.

"We knit the place together," she continued, "we extract information efficiently so we can get the patients seen."

UNISON South West said the plans by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust to "impose a new administrative structure will put patient safety at risk."

The public sector union said if the proposals go ahead specialised medical secretary roles will disappear and there will be cuts to administrative cover with up to 74 Band 4 posts going.

Walk outs also took place in Swindon, Salisbury and Bath NHS hospitals.

In response AWP's Rachel Clark, said: “We recognise that the review of administration roles and functions across the organisation is creating uncertainty but the purpose of this review is to create a professional structure to better support our staff, the organisation and our service users.

“From the very beginning we have involved our staff in the process with numerous consultation opportunities.

“We are currently continuing with our consultation phase and will take account of all the feedback we have received. We will publish the outcome paper in January 2019.”