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Late start for shift pattern review


A review of nurse shift patterns as part of the chief nursing officer for England’s Compassion in Practice strategy has been delayed, Nursing Times has learnt.

The review of the evidence on eight hour and twelve hour shift patterns was one of a number of initiatives announced in April designed to make the ambitions of the strategy a reality.

Its aim was to identify which shift patterns were the most appropriate for which care settings.

The Compassion in Practice implementation plan said the key learning points should have been disseminated to the nursing and midwifery workforce by September this year.

However, a spokesman for NHS England confirmed the review had not started. Nursing Times understands the scope of the review is still being decided.


Readers' comments (18)

  • I work 12.5 hr shifts with 1 hour unpaid break to be taken through the day. I want a 'hands up' from all of you that get those breaks, don't leave late and are, therefore, not donating massive amounts of free labour to the NHS?? I don't see any hands!

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  • I left the Midwifery profession a few months ago. Those 12 1/2 shifts were dangerously long, and my breaks were hardly ever taken. If I had a break, the hour would have been split throughout the day. That way, you hardly feel the benefit of 20 minutes here and there. The shifts invariably did not finish on time, but the Managers always had their weekends off and finished 'on time'. My 12 mile car journey home just finished me off and an accident en route home caused by tiredness just fell on deaf ears. There was no compassion or concerns. I was a very dedicated Nurse and Midwife, always ready to go that extra mile for a patient, but I since leaving I realise that no-one ever 'cared about me'. So sad.

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  • this seems to have been a topic for years. how many more reviews are required? or is this part of an exceeeeeeeeedingly loooooooong - itudinal research project?

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  • I actually preferred working 3 12.5 hour shifts. I found the shorter shifts where you would work a late shift until 9.30 and be back at 7.00 the next morning far harder. Provided 12s are managed sensibly - that is not 1 on 1 off, of having to quickly switch back and forth between days and nights I think they work. I certainly liked being able to schedule my shifts so that I could take several days off in a row without using holiday time.

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  • Each area needs to determine their own shift patterns without interference from NHS England.

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  • what ever but management have the last say! and I know it for deafernate that it wont be your reply you are waiting for. it is a case if you cant stand the heat get out the kitchen quote: you are payed to do a job not standing around watting for praise because it will be along time coming or never!
    you have to look after yourselfs because it your ill they wont! and 3 strikes of illness and your out think about.

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  • Now that people are going to have to work until they are able to retire, then i think a more sensible shift pattern, needs to be implimented, The work/life balance maybe better for some working the 12 hour shifts, but as we all know we dont get our breaks, and the 8 hour shifts for me were family friendly as i could take the children in the morning to school and do a few jobs before going to work and even have something to eat! If on a early I could get sometime reading ect with the children before the tea had to be started. I know i struggle at time with tiredness and fatigue with the 12hour shifts, but people in their mature years finding these shifts hard to sustain until retirement.

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  • So the government won't dictate what staffing levels the wards need because that should be up to individual trusts but they'll micromanage the shifts we work?

    I work 12.5 hour long days. They suit my life, I cope with them. What's the problem? If long day shifts are "dangerous" what about long nightshifts?

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  • I work 12 hour shifts, as I am able to work and go to Uni full time. Even when not at uni, I prefer to have my work commitment over and done with so I can enjoy my time off.
    However the issue is that of getting breaks during the shift. 12 Hours is a long time to go without a break, which tends to be every shift I work. So, my employer is getting me to work for free, just about every weekend.

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  • Nurses need to be looked after, as we are not getting the money we deserve then we should at least be getting some kind of incentive to stay.
    Incentives would be to to work shift patterns to suit us and not to be forced to do night duty or day duty . Every one should be treated fairly when it comes to A/Leave. The Trust I work for, has banned staff from having A/Leave over the Christmas period, but all the management can have this time off, as if we don't have family and friends too, or even if we are alone we should still be treated the same.
    Just because we are nurses that does not mean we are married to the job.
    Look after us and we will continue to look after you.

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