Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Exclusive: Trust to unveil plans to slash community nurse posts

  • 18 Comments

Trust proposals could see district nurse posts cut by nearly 20% in south Manchester, Nursing Times can reveal.

The proposed district nurse cuts to the number of whole-time equivalent posts have sparked concerns about high workloads and burnout for the remaining staff.

University Hospital of South Manchester Foundation Trust wants to remove 24 posts from its community nursing team, decreasing the number of whole time equivalents from 139 to 115.

“They are frazzled. It’s difficult for them to deal with the pressures at the moment”

Tim Ellis

Meanwhile, it is understood nurses will see their working patterns reviewed, with the trust introducing more shift working so the community nursing service is in operation 24 hours.

Nursing Times understands the cuts are due to a skill mix review and also the removal of £601,000 funding by the local clinical commissioning group for a pilot scheme that paid for 17 nursing posts.

The skill mix review found there were too many senior nurses within the community nursing team and Nursing Times understands it now wants to decrease the number of band 7 and 8a posts.

Meanwhile, the “neighbourhood team” pilot funding was withdrawn by South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group on 1 April.

Nursing Times understands the trust does not expect any compulsory redundancies due to many of the posts currently being filled by bank workers, normal staff turnover and plans to redeploy some employees. It is understood that six nurses would be moved elsewhere within the trust.

But concerns have been raised that the proposed cuts would mean the remaining community nursing team is under increasing pressure to deliver care for the same patient caseload.

The plans would also have a “dramatic effect” on the ability for the trust to discharge its patients into the community, according to a local union representative from Unison.

Unison’s regional organiser Tim Ellis said the planned cuts came at the same time the trust was being required to reduce hospital bed spaces.

“The pressure for discharge has increased at the same time as the capability to support discharge is being decreased,” said Mr Ellis.

He warned that district nurses were in short supply locally and that future vacancies resulting from burnout among the remaining staff would be hard for the trust to fill.

“The district nurses are already off their feet and working beyond their contracted hours,” he told Nursing Times.

“They are frazzled. It’s difficult for them to deal with the pressures at the moment and so the workload will only get worse for them – it will increase by about 20% following the planned cuts,” he said.

“It is short-term thinking to be pushing staff out of service, when only in a couple of years you will be looking to attract such difficult-to-recruit staff,” he added.

The trust’s final proposals follow a consultation, months of discussions with union representatives, and a petition signed by around 1,500 people opposing the cuts.

“The district nurses are already off their feet and working beyond their contracted hours”

Tim Ellis

In its original plans, distributed in January, the trust wanted to remove more district nursing posts – 28 WTEs in total – largely due to efficiency savings it believed it could make through introducing more mobile technology for district nursing teams.

Nursing Times has learnt that while the trust still plans to issue mobile devices and laptops to its community nurses, it will now complete a pilot study before deciding whether it can save money in this way.

Staff are expected to be updated on the final proposals on 9 June and, following feedback, the plans will be implemented by the end of July.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust has been engaging with its community nursing teams.

“The final outcome of this community nursing consultation has not yet been communicated to colleagues, so at this stage, it would be inappropriate for the trust to comment further,” she added.

  • 18 Comments

Readers' comments (18)

  • where is Devo Manc in all of this?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So a pilot project that provided 17 posts has been stopped (as is pretty normal with pilots that pass their dates) and they think they have too many senior jobs, and also too many other unfilled roles.
    "Short term funding ends amid minor reorganisation" wouldn't be much of a headline though would it?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • michael stone

    Can somebody explain to me - as this makes me wonder if I'm even dimmer than I usually assume I am - how reducing the number of Community Nurses, fits with this 'masterplan' of keeping more patients out of hospital, by doing more treatment in the community ?

    There probably is a good reason for this type of thing, which I've not properly studied: but the 'headline' seems paradoxical to the NHS's claimed contemporary 'approach to care'.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It's obvious that the staff who survive the "cull" will just have to work until they drop. Or are they planning to cut the service they offer to patients in the community? Will it get like Social Care provision - 15 minutes per patient including travel time?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • They obviously want to kill off their remaining nurses with overwork. How stupid can you get?!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Michael stone - the answer is The District nurse caseload will continue to increase but just run on less staff. Unlike wards, district nurse caseloads do not have a maximum number of patients they can accept into their care (unlike wards who obviously have a finite number of beds). They can run the service on as few staff as they like because of this and the lack of guidance on safe staffing levels. Patients will continue to be discharged back into community but with less staff to look after them! the readmission stats will make interesting reading.
    They also believe that introducing mobile technology will make all the nurses more efficient therefore justifying the cut in jobs! yet to see any evidence of this. crazy

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Michael stone - the answer is The District nurse caseload will continue to increase but just run on less staff. Unlike wards, district nurse caseloads do not have a maximum number of patients they can accept into their care (unlike wards who obviously have a finite number of beds). They can run the service on as few staff as they like because of this and the lack of guidance on safe staffing levels. Patients will continue to be discharged back into community but with less staff to look after them! the readmission stats will make interesting reading.
    They also believe that introducing mobile technology will make all the nurses more efficient therefore justifying the cut in jobs! yet to see any evidence of this. crazy

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous | 9-Jun-2015 7:44 pm

    perhaps the mobile IT will enable you to do 3D printing to make up for any shortfalls in extra pairs of hands and materials :-)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • ignore the 'stone' - alias troll!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What the "stone" says makes perfect sense and it is a problem in hospitals who want to discharge back into the community.

    Patients suffer, staff suffer re admissions increase and it is more costly in the long run.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 1020results per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs