About 100 jobs at risk at Telford-based pet medical charity PDSA
Around 100 jobs are under threat at Telford-based pet medical care charity PDSA after it suffered a £30 million shortfall in income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity which has its headquarters in Whitechapel Way, Priorslee, said it had now entered a period of consultation with staff whose roles are at potential risk of redundancy.
PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin said: “This is an incredibly difficult and unsettling time for our staff and the proposals we are putting forward have not been taken lightly. We deeply regret the impact this will have on those colleagues who are affected.
"Throughout the Covid-19 crisis we have kept our people updated on the income and operational challenges we are facing as well as the significant increase in demand for our services we expect to see.
"We have been honest that these may require us to take some hard decisions.
“PDSA is a strong organisation and has faced many challenges over its long history. As the impacts of the pandemic have taken hold, like many charities, it’s become clear we’re facing into a significant funding deficit. We have therefore had no choice but to review our costs and start adapting our strategies and service models so that we can be here for pets and people in need for many years to come.”
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She added: "As a charity that supports pets and people in need, there is a looming poverty crisis on the horizon as more people than ever are plunged into financial hardship. This will have a huge long-term impact on PDSA with more people calling on the charity for help to care for their sick and injured pets than ever before.
This coupled with the financial impact the pandemic is having on the charity, with income losses of around £30m expected this year alone. The proposals on which we are consulting respond to these challenges and aim to ensure we direct our limited resources to helping as many pets and people who need us as we can."
Virtually all of the charity’s income and fundraising activities have been affected since the start of the pandemic. Its events programme has stopped and its retail shops have been hit hard due to the lockdown.
The organisation has adapted by moving much of its veterinary care and support online apart from emergency and essential treatments, which have carried on at its 48 pet hospitals nationwide.
It has utilised the government’s job retention and retail support schemes and negotiated with its landlords and suppliers to reduce costs, as well as there being no annual pay award for staff. The charity said if the restructuring measures went ahead it would do everything to minimise the impact on its staff.