UNISON stewards in Oxford Health have been made aware of staff concerns regarding management proposals to change nursing shifts on inpatient wards, including but not exclusively:

  • Impact of increased breaks on staffing levels and increased workload over longer break times
  • Impact of part time staff hours on staffing levels due to non-standard start finishing times
  • loss of family contact time,
  • disruption of child/parent/home care arrangements,
  • loss of unsocial hours pay,
  • health and safety and fatigue risks associated with overlong shifts,
  • unnecessarily long night breaks and reduction in cover for extended period.
  • lack of clarity about how twilight shifts will be used
  • review of staff complements,
  • lack of guarantee about flexible working arrangements,
  • reduction of shift requests to maximum 4/month for full time staff (less for part time)
  • reduced early/late handover for training and business meetings etc
  • implicit assumption staff will stay on beyond normal working times to attend meetings currently planned into working day
  • Inadequate reason for causing massive upheaval to staff and patients
  • this shift pattern is causing problems at the JRII hospital

UNISON stewards working with other unions to engage to ensure the Trust addresses staff concerns.  A normal part of the consultation process is that staff concerns are heard so that changes can be made to proposals or they can be withdrawn as not practical.  

However UNISON has previously had to lodge a collective grievance to ensure changes favourable to staff were implemented in previous shift change proposals, and this remains an option should there be problems with the current consultation and if members support this course of action.

Our experience has been that well attended union meetings will help to ensure that the range and strength of members’ views are heard.  UNISON is therefore calling members who would be affected by the changes to come to one of the following meetings:


Tuesday 8th  May
Venue: Mcinness room, Waneford hospital
Time: 2.30pm to 3.30 pm


Wednesday 9th  May
Venue: Mcinness room, Warneford hospital
Time: 7.30pm to 8.30 pm


Friday 18th May
Venue: Witney Community hospital Group room
Time: 11am until 1pm


Monday 21st May
Venue: Bicester community hospital  seminar room
Time: 1.30 until 2.30pm


Wednesday 23rd May
Venue: The Fiennes
Time: 12 noon until 2pm

If you absolutely cannot make a meeting please drop us a note about what you think – but this is not as effective as getting organised to ensure the consultation has the outcome we decide on.