As my wife is a nurse I read with horror the article in the Star on October 27, concerning the proposal to increase their working shifts from eight hours to 12.5 hours in Shropshire hospitals from March 2013.
Nursing is both physically and mentally demanding and increasing the working day by over 50 per cent will unquestionably put patients’ lives at risk due to staff tiredness.
Ancillary staff have recently had their shift patterns changed and staff in the kitchens now work for six hours without a break, in line with EU legislation (imposed here but rarely on the continent). The mentality of the bosses and ward managers beggars belief.
If they wish to impose 12.5 hour shifts could I suggest they lead from the front and impose likewise shift patterns on themselves first.
These people, who sit on their backsides all day, have no comprehension of the exhaustion nurses currently feel on their existing shift patterns and, once again, we have a case of ‘do as we say not as we do’.
If the trusts wish to save money then they should start my reducing the numbers of hospital ‘administrators’ not by increasing the workload of undermanned front line staff. I trust the nurses will fiercely oppose these proposals but, if history is anything to go by, they will be implemented next year.
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