Up to 50 nurses at north Cumbria's hospitals facing downgrade
Last updated at 08:04, Wednesday, 25 September 2013
A nursing union is seeking an urgent meeting with hospital bosses after it emerged up to 50 nurses could face being downgraded.
Under the terms of a review of nursing at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital, many senior Band 6 nurses could be asked to apply for ‘new’ Band 6 jobs – or drop down a grade.
Some claim they could face losing hundreds of pounds a month in salary if they dropped to Band 5, although the trust insists staff salaries will be protected under trust policy.
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust currently employs 139 Band 6 nurses but, under the terms of the review, that could shrink to 88.
The number of Band 5 nurses would only rise by around two. However, it is understood that there would be around 80 holiday and sick cover posts – currently there are none of these.
Regional director of the Royal College of Nursing, Glenn Turp, said that the union was concerned at the number of staff involved and the impact the move would have on certain nursing teams.
“The fact is, that the ongoing uncertainty around the structures and management at the trust, coupled with the concerns over the latest review of nursing services, continues to add to stress and anxiety for the clinical staff,” Mr Turp said.
“We have already raised a number of issues that we have around both the structure and the process of the nursing review, with the management at the trust.
“We are also concerned about the specific impact it will have on certain nursing teams, and have sought an urgent meeting with the director of human resources to discuss our concerns in more detail.”
It is understood the nurses – many of whom have years of experience in their fields of expertise – would face competitive interviews and psychometric testing for the ‘new’ posts.
The trust announced in July that it was launching an urgent review of nursing following recommendations in the damning Keogh report into death rates, which raised concerns about staffing. At the time it said changes would improve leadership structures, bringing in a system that is used by many high performing NHS trusts.
It estimated that under five per cent of senior nursing staff would need to be re-banded as a result, with those affected moving to the core nursing team on the wards so that they could focus solely on improving patient care.
Consultation on the changes is due to end on October 1. Trust bosses have also stressed previously that the review would not involve any redundancies, and that anyone who is re-banded would have their pay protected.
Chris Platton, acting director of nursing and quality, said: “One of the key priority actions from Keogh outlined the need for us to urgently review our staffing.
“It is vital our frontline nursing teams have clear leadership and lines of accountability on the ward and also that our nurses have time to do what they do best and provide nursing care for patients.
“This new model – which will replicate the highly successful ward leadership model at Northumbria Healthcare – means we can greatly improve the safety of care and experience of our patients.”
First published at 08:02, Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
They should all be grateful ,not only has many years experience gotten them a higher payband but after 25years dedicated service they each receive a glass NHS paperweight! Spoiled Rotten!
Yes, you are right Anon - the person is capable of giving care irrespective of their payband. However, you join a profession, you study, put in the hours and gain experience and ultimately promotion. You are recognised with a pay increase and then someone decides you can do the job at a lower grade. You could do the job for no pay ... if you cared enough but come on isn't pay meant to reflect skills, experience and qualifications? Would you like to have hear surgery performed by a perfectly able nurse? I guess not. It's fine to give opinions until it is you who are in hospital. It's happening in other professions too ....
View all 21 comments on this article