Union members have accepted Derby Hospital’s latest offer in a long running dispute over downgrading surgical nursing posts.
Unions have been in dispute with Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since January over its plans to reduce band 7 nursing posts to band 6, and band 6 to band 5, saving the trust £55m.
This week the RCN said members had agreed to accept the trust’s slightly improved offer, with some minor modifications ‘with great reluctance and concern’. This includes an extended period of pay protection, plus a joint monitoring and review process with trade unions to assess any adverse impact of the restructure on patient safety.
The review offer is in response to nurses’ worries that patient safety could be put at risk if there are fewer higher-grade nurses at the trust’s two hospitals – the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and Derby City General.
‘It’s clear that the trust has lost a lot of goodwill from our members,’ said Sheila Marriott, RCN regional director for the East Midlands. ‘But as anxious and under-valued as they feel, our members have shown once again that their patients come first.’
The RCN said it would set up a monitoring group from among its membership in Derby to help inform the joint review process.