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Lincolnshire trust to introduce new blend of shift patterns


Most nurses at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation Trust are to begin working to a new blended shift pattern from September. 

It is implementing a standardised system of long days and short shifts and an extended night shift, after consulting staff at its hospitals in Goole, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

“This new model will give us greater flexibility to match staffing availability to patient need”

Karen Dunderdale

The new model combines a 7.5 hour early shift, a 7.5 hour late shift, a 12 hour night shift and a 13 hour early long shift.

Karen Dunderdale, the trust’s chief nurse and deputy chief executive, said: “Historically, our nursing staff have worked a variety of shift and break patterns, including permanent days and permanent nights.

“In this new model, all nursing staff will work a combination of different shifts with personal preferences being taken into account,” she said.

“This will give us greater flexibility to match staffing availability to patient need, ensure there is protected time for handover and also increase protected management time for ward sisters and charge nurses,” she added.

Karen Dunderdale

Karen Dunderdale

A number of wards have volunteered to be early implementers of the new model and some will be chosen to run the model from 18 August. The revised shift patterns will begin on all other wards from 15 September.

Sister Michelle Long, who manages a surgical ward at Scunthorpe hospital, said the system meant patients were likely to “see the same nurses”.

“Nurses will see their patients before they go into theatre and will still be here when the patients come back to the ward,” she said. “This consistency will help us build relationships with our patients and their families and allows us to get to know them better.”

Charge nurse Ivan Bernal-Torne, who runs the gastroenterology ward at Grimsby hospital, said: “This blend of short and long shifts will give us a real advantage in being able to increase our staffing flexibility on the ward and plan rosters that best suit patient need.”

There are some exceptions to the new blended shift pattern, including intensive care and children’s and maternity wards, where patient needs require a different shift system.

The new model will combine the following shifts:

  • Early shift:                   7am to 2.30pm:                       7.5 hours with half-hour break
  • Late shift:                    2pm to 9.30pm:                       7.5 hours with half-hour break
  • Night shift:                   7.30pm to 7.30am:                  12 hours with one-hour break
  • Early long shift:           7am to 8pm:                            13 hours with one-hour break

Readers' comments (4)

  • Fine for those who get the shifts they want, but why do I suspect that this exercise in seeing how much ward cover they can squeeze out of the existing staff numbers will result in a combination of shifts which leave staff more tired and with less free time!

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  • you can keep it!

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  • Oh dear 13 hours on a busy surgical ward. fatigue, errors etc.

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  • Why the lap over of staff at night?

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