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Cornwall nurses face re-banding threat

Nurses and midwives in Cornwall are considering industrial action over a proposed downgrading of nursing posts affecting sisters and charge nurses.

Senior nurses at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust are having their roles reassessed in a £19m cost-cutting drive, which could lead to them being re-banded at a lower level on the Agenda for Change pay framework, unions have claimed. The changes affect around 80 nurses from band six up.

They warn that, as a result, industrial action is being considered as well as a vote of no confidence in management.

Trust managers have insisted they have followed guidelines and the changes are about simplifying structures rather than saving money.

A collective dispute hearing was staged last week at the trust’s Truro headquarters, which brought together Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives.

Chris Dayes, Unison regional officer for Cornwall, said: “We are currently awaiting the outcome of the dispute…Morale amongst nurses is very low. It is a bad time for the trust to be disabling nursing functions and finances.”

Trust director of nursing Christine Rashleigh said: “The changes are not about cost cutting or making people redundant.

“We are talking constructively to our staff and unions about the proposals and will continue to work with them in the weeks ahead to get the right outcome for our patients.”

The trust, however, also recently announced it had identified the first 38 out of 400 posts that it needed to shed in order to help make £19m worth of savings this year. Midwives make up about 20 of the 90 posts under scrutiny.

Readers' comments (8)

  • "Trust managers have insisted they have followed guidelines and the changes are about simplifying structures rather than saving money"

    what a load of bull****

    this is simply about saving money!!!!!!
    how about the chief exec dropping a few thousand pounds a year or the other highly paid managers..thats not going to happen though is it!!

    strike its the only way, then let these idiots run the wards and see what happens

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  • Strike!! I've had enough of this patronising and trusts making threats!

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  • welcome to the club - we are going to be replaced by peer support workers whose only qualification will be to have experienced illness and undergone training
    - there is a pilot scheme of unregistered, unlicesened practioners being trained to give medication, including injections with training on what the side effects are and the techniques - NHS protected or what

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  • I and 47 other Band 7's have, through 'organisational change', been downgraded to Band 6! Our unions were no help whatsoever saying that it was perfectly feasable to do this!
    Teams have been totally restructured, staff nurses and nursing assistants moved at a whim of management with not a humane thought to feelings of staff. Every day for the last three weeks I have seen staff in tears and distraught at the changes forced upon them. It is disgraceful the way management are treating many loyal, commited and hard working staff.
    Demoralised and demotivated staff are Insufficient words and anyway who cares if we are! Certainly not management! Definately not the NHS (the caring profession huh!)
    Oh and as an aside...Management see no reason why patient care should be compromised during these changes...Patients? that's the last of their thoughts! Worst of all...I bet these managers don't lose one bit of sleep over it all!

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  • Totally agree with the above post, this could be my trust they're talking about..what about the effect on pensions this is going to have for those in their 50's, if down graded even with 2 years pay protection it is going to have a severe effect on pension and retirement plans, looking at current pay scales from what i can see going from top band 6 to top band 5 will incurr at least a £7000 pay drop

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  • RE Anonymous | 28-Apr-2011 0:36 am

    ''Teams have been totally restructured, staff nurses and nursing assistants moved at a whim of management with not a humane thought to feelings of staff.''

    Didn't you know nurses are not humans???? and don't have any feelings, we are machines and need to follow (sarcasm) we ever the tell us to go......

    I also think (top)management and execs should have a drop in there pay, that will make savings.

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  • All staff should join Agency' on mass, then all staff should threaten mass resignation......that way the Trusts then may take Nurses seriously, bloody sack all the management and get rid!

    Its not the nursing staff that need rationalising its the management, the wards are bare to the bones as it is, without all of this rubbish, nurses have been down trodden for far to long, the Unions should stand together and take this seriously - they should be suggesting staff apply to agencies and then threaten mass recognition..........Come on the RCN and Unison, and all the other Unions get this sorted for the workers once and for all, stop pussy footing around and do the job that we all pay our subs for!

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  • I'm an HSCW and I've heard a lot interesting stories from my fellow band 2 colleagues working in Cornwall. Decimation of Band 5's will not affect direct patient care there.

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