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Hospital nurses 'ready to move into community'


Hospital nurses are prepared to move into community jobs but trusts need to work together to retrain them and arrange the transfers, Unison has said.

Unions have opposed suggestions nurses should be made redundant as a result of government spending cuts.

But Unison senior national officer Mike Jackson said hospital nurses would understand their jobs had to change if more care is to be provided in the community, instead of hospital – one of the main proposals to cut costs.

Mr Jackson told Nursing Times: “Most people don’t want to give up their jobs but I think there are real opportunities if people are imaginative.

“A nurse working on an acute ward will know that over the next decade there are going to be fewer beds.”

“There’s going to be greater care in community settings and young nurses will be thinking, ‘Where is my job going to be?’

“They will be quite receptive to the idea that they over time they can receive training to adapt their skills and, when opportunities occur, can transfer.”

He said strategic health authorities were beginning to coordinate how training and transfers would be paid for and arranged. They are considering creating “clearing house” style arrangements where trusts can say whether and which staff they need to lose or gain.

Separately, Mr Jackson revealed Unison had taken legal advice after some foundation trusts considered withholding part of the 2.25 per cent Agenda for Changepay increase from April.

He said: “There would have been a breach of contract if they had decided not to pay that. We have offered our branches that [advice] but we have not threatened foundation trusts.”

Unison believes trusts are now agreed on paying the uplift from April.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Believe me most nurses moving from the acute hospital sector to the community will wonder why they didn't make the move years ago!

    Access to training, time to eat whilst at work, very few shift type work, no ridiculous staff parking charges to pay, no pressure to discharge patients who are clearly not obnoxious consultants to deal with. Bliss.

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  • How is it then that I have heard that there are nursing jobs at risk in some community hospitals?
    There are more care homes closing and they are closing acute beds in some of the 3 hospitals in our trust YET we are still at high level of shortage of beds for emergencies and have been for 2 months
    There seems no logic to any of what both Government, health authorities and unions are saying.
    They I feel need to get the maths right
    Reduction of beds means no beds for the continual flow of emergencies there will be no beds for the waiting list patients because there is a continual flow of patients being seen in the A/E department and there are no beds in the community because they have closed beds in the community hospitals and the care homes
    I concur with what was said by the previous person and I could do with a cup of coffee now

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  • The first comment left was not truely informed -Nursing in the Community sector has just as many constaints as working in the acute setting. I know that I and colleagues will often eat whilst in car travelling or whilst making referals in the office. Training is equally as hard to access demonstrated by only having 30% of the PCT mandatory trained this year.
    Parking to visit patient in restricted parking areas can lead to 10min walks in rain/snow etc, Trafic conjestion.
    GP's can also be as demanding and hard to access and get decisions from.
    LAURA SERRANT-GREEN is professor of community and public health nursing at the University of Lincoln cited that Community nursing is equal to hospital based care

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