The UNISON campaign against the shift change proposal in Oxford Health has resulted in management changing the proposal.  

However attempts to have the long day abandoned have been refused. Under the revised proposals there will be a cut of £800,000 in staffing across the in-patient wards as a result of the long day, increased break times, and having the night shift start earlier.

The intention to spread staff thinner by extending break periods on shorter shifts and having night staff start earlier to cut of £2.4 million off the wages bill (by needing fewer bank/agency/sessional contracts)  was not disclosed to staff in the consultation.  However as a result of union campaigning approximately 1 million of the £2.4 million will now be given back to wards in various forms:

In response to plans to change shift lengths in Oxford health UNSIOn stwards worked out that the new proposals would reduce the numebr of staff available to patients on almost all shifts on all mental health and community hospital wards in Oxfordshire.  This would mean staff haviung to work harder to maintain current levels of care, with a greater risk of fatiuge and accidents.

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

Staff-side have been approached regarding changes to our pay protection, at the moment we receive up to five years pay protection in the event that we have been subject to organisational change, this is to protect us financially if there are not enough jobs vacant at our substantive band and we end up being slotted into a lower band.