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Gloucestershire Care Services Trust

Changes to district nurse working meet opposition


Gloucestershire Care Services Trust has defended proposals to change the way its district nurses work amid concerns from the Royal College of Nursing and local campaigners.

The trust says changes to nurses’ shift patterns are required to “smooth out” current care provision in order to provide a better 24 hour service.

Staff have been consulted over the introduction of an early shift from 7.30am to 3.30pm and a late shift from 2.30pm to 10.30pm, each with an unpaid 30 minute break.

Stroud Against The Cuts, a local campaign group opposed to the changes, has told Nursing Times’ sister title HSJ that it had been contacted by around a dozen district nurses concerned about the impact the changes could have on the quality of the care they can provide.

Susan Field, the trust’s director of adult services, said: “Earlier this year, we introduced mobile working – the use of laptops and smartphones - to our specialist community nursing teams.

“Our nurses are not being asked to change their work base and move from GP surgeries or health clinics: all our nurses will continueto have a permanent base.  

“The opportunity, however, is to use the laptop remotely so that we can use more of our nurses’ skilled time with patients, update shared patient records in ‘real time’ and avoid unnecessary paperwork or travel time returning to a single base.”  

“This consultation has been approached in discussion with trade unions and their local staff representatives.  In considering these proposals, our community nurses are not being asked to change their work base, and move from GP surgeries or health clinics: all our nurses will continue to have a permanent base.” 

She added that the clinical commissioning group plans to spend an additional £3.9m to bring in new nurses.

Gloucestershire Care Services Trust was established last year following a legal challenge to the transfer of community services from Gloucestershire PCT to a social enterprise.


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Readers' comments (2)

  • I welcome this change as too much time is spent on travel time returning to base to complete paperwork rather than providing patient care. In addtion to this more nurses are needed to provide care for patients in the community

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  • Don't quite get the issue?
    In some areas staff already cover these times in one of 3 shifts - early, core or late with a separate night shift.
    I have used mobile working in the Community for 2 years - works in most areas but need to aware of any patch without 3G coverage which is time wasting. Patients ring us directly - and no they don't abuse use of the the mobile phone!
    As a DN who has also worked shifts in Hospital perhaps it is time to move into the 21st century and improve patient access.

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