The final outcome of our restructure consultation

The final outcome of our restructure consultation

We've completed consultations on a restructure to make us a financially sustainable charity.

We have more than 1,600 people employed and were proposing up to 300 redundancies, but after discussions with staff and the union, we have reduced the number by 10%.

Our CEO, Chris Sherwood, said:

"We know this has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone and I'm grateful for all those who took part in the consultation process - staff, volunteers and the union.

"We've seriously considered every single proposal submitted and will be exploring some of the cost savings measures suggested by staff.

"As a result of discussions, we'll be keeping 31 roles which were at risk of redundancy, a majority of which are field staff."

Some services will close

Chris continues:

"It's with a heavy heart that despite in-depth discussions including with other organisations we'll be closing services at Putney Animal Hospital and Southall Clinic in London and two Surrey rehoming centres, RSPCA Lockwood and South Godstone. We'll also stop delivering the Southall Cattery service, however, we're in active discussions with another charity over the possibility of transferring the service to keep it operating.

"This is no reflection on the staff and volunteers and I would like to thank them for their dedication and commitment to the RSPCA and animals.

"This restructure was crucial to put the RSPCA on a strong financial footing, so we're sustainable to cope with the future demands and continue our important work to rescue those animals most in need.

"We'll work hard to support our staff through the difficult weeks and months ahead."

Avoiding a potential £47m deficit

We've been reviewing all our activities as part of our ten-year strategy development but the need for long-term structural change had become more acute following the impact of the Covid pandemic.

Although we had reduced our deficit from £20m to £12m ahead of the coronavirus crisis, we're now forecasting a deficit of £20-25m this year, rising to a potential £47m black hole over the next three years if action is not taken.

Following the challenges of the pandemic, our free reserves have dipped to a level which amounts to less than six months' operating funds, sharpening further the need for significant and urgent action to reduce costs.

These decisions were incredibly difficult to make

These difficult decisions were made with an incredibly heavy heart, but they are part of a long-term review of the way we operate to ensure we can be sustainable for the future and can continue to help animals most in need.

We understand this will be very upsetting for everyone directly affected and those who have fond memories of each of the sites, but we have to take action now so that we're still around to help animals in the future.

This proposal is no reflection on our staff and volunteers and we would like to thank all those who have worked so hard - and in the case of some of the sites - kindly volunteered for their incredible dedication over the years.

Lockwood Equine Centre

All the horses and ponies from the site will be transferred to our other sites (we have three other centres with horses in the south) or boarding stables until they're found loving new homes.

We're consulting with staff affected by redundancies over the Summer and this will be concluded in early September. We expect to close the site at the end of September.

RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital and Southall Clinic

We spend nearly £2million a year running Putney Hospital and Southall cattery and clinic. We're a large charity which runs a large number of services - we're the only charity with a team of inspectors rescuing thousands of animals every year, caring for them, treating them and rehabilitating them, often for many months and this is very costly.

Our spending is outstripping our income and if action is not taken now to reduce our costs, it will threaten our ability to rescue animals in the future.

Our services are unbalanced between the north and south and we currently have two animal hospitals operating in central London. We'll now be focussing our London veterinary service at Harmsworth, which is an area of higher need.

We know this will be upsetting for people in the community who have used our services at Putney and Southall and supported the hospital and clinic.

Alternative veterinary services to Putney Animal Hospital and Southall Clinic

Services at Putney are expected to stop in early autumn and with frontline rescue teams taking animals to the nearby Harmsworth Hospital and private vets for treatment.

We'll be writing to public clients at Putney and Southall to advise them of the closures and sharing information on where they can find alternative veterinary provision.  This may be their checking eligibility with other charities who offer subsidised vet services or registering with private veterinary practices.

We're working closely with another charity who are actively increasing the volume of reduced cost services at private vets in the areas covered by Putney and Southall Clinic. We are also working with local vets to give them support regarding potential new clients.

Southall Cattery

We're in active talks with another charity to transfer the Southall Cattery. Cats being cared for here will be moved to our other animal centres and branches for rehoming if discussions with the other charity don't progress, as well as expand our partnership working with other organisations to ensure any animal gets the help they need.

Discussions are continuing with our Wimbledon branch, a separate charity which uses the hospital as a base, looking at ways to support the branch with their potential change of premises.

RSPCA South Godstone Animal Centre

South Godstone is one of a number of animal centres in and around London and we need to rebalance our provision across England and Wales. Animals currently in the care of South Godstone will be transferred to other premises in advance of the closure.

We need your continued support to help animals

We would like to thank all of our staff, volunteers, supporters, fosterers, adopters and fundraisers for their support and this incredibly difficult time. The decisions we have made are out of necessity, in order to ensure we can continue to exist for animals who need us in future.