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Nurses 'should donate holiday' to patch up hospital finances


Health campaigners have responded angrily to a suggestion from an NHS boss that staff could “donate” a portion of their annual leave as part of an effort to save £30m.

In a staff bulletin, Epsom and St Helier Trust chief executive Samantha Jones said that employees could play an important role in helping to save the money in the current financial year.

She wrote: “A number of you have said that you would be willing to sacrifice some of your annual leave allowance and come to work instead.

“It might seem obvious, but each and every single day off in the organisation costs the Trust money. This is particularly true if a member of bank or agency staff has to be hired to cover for your post.

“I fully support this idea, and in fact I have decided to work on one of my annual leave days. If everybody agreed to work just one annual leave day, it would make a significant contribution in helping to achieve our goal.”

Ms Jones explained that in many NHS trusts, staff were agreeing to reduce their contracted hours between now and the end of the financial year, in return for an appropriate reduction in pay.

“I know some of you have enquired about this and I would encourage you to discuss this with your line manager and the HR manager for your area.

“Leading by example, a number of our consultants and doctors have already agreed to take a reduction in their pay between now and March 2011, but work the same number of hours as they do now.”

NHS pressure group Health Emergency chairman Geoff Martin said: “It wasn’t the nurses and other members of staff who dragged the Epsom and St Helier Trust into financial chaos, and suggesting that they cut their hours and their pay and give up their annual leave and work for nothing is a disgrace.”

Unison regional officer Michael Walker said: “This shows how bad the situation has become when it is suggested that nurses and health workers give up their annual leave to bail out the NHS.”

He said the union had written to local MP and health minister Paul Burstow urging him to intervene and bail out the hospital.

Mr Walker said: “We must stop dedicated, overstretched staff from being forced to give up their holiday in order to provide vital patient care.”


Readers' comments (32)

  • dont be so bl**dy stuped may be that would like to
    1)give threre bonuses to a charity of nurses choice
    2)give there hoildays up and work on ward for nothing
    3) have a cut in there salary
    then perhaps these moneys can be reanstated
    its a good joke bosses put it in a cracker!!!
    ho! ho! ho!

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  • What an unbelievably naive proposal. I am sure thousands of demoralised, under-valued, exhausted nurses will jump at the chance of working for free for a day...and whilst we are at it increase our parking costs, freeze our pay, freeze our increments and go back on all of the nationally employment agreements!

    Oh and by the way, don't bother to chase up the unpaid taxes of the millionaire classes and continue to pay extravagant bonuses to bankers and MP's - the people actually responsible for the financial mess.


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  • LOL

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  • Do we not already work many days 'for free' as unpaid overtime --- just to get the job done

    How dare you even consider taking MORE off nursing staff than has already been taken!

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  • Un-F'ing-believable. No, I would not like to do that, thank you very much. I already contribute untold hours in lost breaks and staying over that never seem to be recovered in T.O.I.L.

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  • Words fail me. I think this person who suggested this should be sacked from their post and it should be given to someone capable of doing the job. If there are big financial problems within that trust it is down to the director who holds the budget..

    Get real here!!!

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  • perhaps the powers that be should stop spending money on "team building" days and stupid statues that no-one appreciates but cost a fortune. taking even more from nurses is demoralising and will only serve to create a lower work morale and reduce working standards as a result.

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  • Absolute agreement with all comments above. Instead of Time Owing, on our ward we are told to "Manage our time better" realistically leaving us with hours of time owed.

    WE NEED TO STRIKE!!! or continue to allow the managers/Govt to shaft us 'til the commodes come home.

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  • Nurses get NO job related Perks!
    and now they want us to work a day of an our annual leave....
    Reduce the TOP heavy management structure....
    That would save a trusts LOADS a MONEY!

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  • we absolutely agree with 11.37. we already work 100`s of hours per year unpaid just to ensure that the patients get the care they need , if this director is not already aware of this she must be working in a different time dimension to the rest of us, Oh and earning so much money that she does not have any bills/debts to pay.
    Beam me up scottie!!!!!!!!!!!

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