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Senior nurses face role reassessment


All senior nurses at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust are set to have their jobs reassessed and some may be downgraded.

New job descriptions have been drawn up by the trust for the group of around 100 nurses, who are ward sisters and above, and they will be put through a series of tests to see if they have the competencies required.

The trust says the plans aim to simplify the senior nursing and midwifery structure. They have been put out to consultation but a trust spokeswoman said timeframes for the changes were yet to be decided.

The spokeswoman added that the restructure was about ensuring “the right people are in the right roles with the right levels of empowerment and accountability” rather than cost cutting or making people redundant. However, she added that when people were moved from their current role redundancy may be considered.

Chris Dayus, Unison regional officer for the South West, said the nurses involved were deeply unhappy about the proposals. “The nurses are very angry. It’s like somebody standing in front of them and saying you are not performing properly.”


Readers' comments (13)

  • We are facing the same in our trust, nurses are hurt within our trust who have given their time and dedication to the trust for years.

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  • Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised that senior nurse jobs are being reassessed as their numbers have exploded in recent years. Some nurses are absolutely excellent in what they do and have real specialist knowledge whereas some post holders are there either due to being in the right place at the right time or though the old-girls network.

    I don’t work for this particular Trust, but I’m sure this is mirrored throughout the country. I’ve worked with some nurses who were C Grade SEN’s and have now managed to backbite and network their way into Band 8B Matron posts and to be honest, they could barely function as a C Grade so I welcome reassessment of roles based on competency and not being solely based on who an individual trained with or socialises with!

    The good years are over: the money has all gone. I think those with real skills and knowledge have nothing to fear, but those who have spent recent years in none-jobs filling their day attending pointless meetings and wandering around should rightly be worried.

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  • nursing patients is one job and there are far to many different roles with different levels of salary trying to do this one job.
    Nurses should all be trained to an adequate level to provide the care which is the purpose of a 24 hour shift system. if each is competent to care for a group of patients and work together this would cut down costs. It works in other countries without fuss and constant debate over many years with no change, why not in the UK?
    Do the major obstacles in the NHS and nursing come from attitude, nurse education, a stubborn old-girl network or elswhere or are the totally unidentifyable? Organisational problems surely do not all lie with poorly distributed funding or lack of financial resources.

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  • 12feb -12:13pm) i though that was the norm basic nursing 12activites of living comunication etc no it looks like super nurses u only make the job harder for your self if you get a job to sit on ass!

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  • Well wouldn't be too difficult to challenge and stop this if they get a legal representative - it means anytime an employer fancies changing the terms of a legal contract they can, think about it. Many of these posts were created to satisfy the cost agenda of decreasing the amount of junior medical staff. If you dont have the skillset to satisfy the job descriltion then that is at least 50% the fault of the employer. Don't imagine they will organize themselves as they are nurses.

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  • Anyone of any grade care to tell me if they PDP meeting where ksf was graded in the last 12 months?

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  • I have been a ward manager for two years having worked as a nurse practitioner in three different settings incuding the role of Community Matron for the previous 9 years during which time I completed the nurse practitioner MSc.
    Both posts were graded at 7 and I defended my banding vehemently as a nurse practitioner and therefore understand and sympathise with the similar defensive comments above.
    However my move to the ward manager role was self motivated as I had moved from a F grade senior staff nurse role into a G grade NP role and felt that a piece of the jigsaw was missing from my 30+ year career.
    I am well qualified to compare and contrast the two roles and consider the role of ward manager to be by far the more challenging due to the extremely wide remit off the role as already discussed in earlier comments.
    This is not to decry the practitioner role as will undoubtably be seen by some, there are highly qualified, motivated and innovative nurses in both roles as well those who don't step up to the mark. However a degree of honesty and realism should be adopted and the essence of both roles is to take ownership and demonstrate our worth to our employers, colleagues and most of all our patients.
    As with the gradings etc, the process of re-evaluation will undoubtably be divisive and nurses will be drawn into a self preservation mind set, don't let this happen, stand together for what we believe in and if each of us aspire to meet the requirements of our roles and beyond then we should have nothing to fear

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  • It seems that the politicians have used the oldest trick in the book and we have fallen for it again. Didvide and conquer! We need to stop pointing the finger at each other and being OK with somebody elses job being reviewed or lost. You may not see the point in the other persons job but you will once they are gone and you become responsible for what they used to do on top of everything else. Whilst the govermant plans to cut senior & "back office" jobs they have no plans to cut the work. When will we learn to stop back biting and start standing together?

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  • Does anyone else realise that these Nurses have been forced to manage, what is in effect, a Nurse-led A&E. They were forced to take over the roles of the Doctor (only present from 9 - 5) with little or no backing from Senior management.

    Whilst it suited to get rid of Doctors and increase the nurses responsibility, it obviously doesn't suit when it comes to recognising and paying Nurses for their dedication and loyalty to the local population.

    The practitioners here are all experienced nurses who (until recently) were motivated and remain highly clinically skilled.

    As a Nurse I am appalled that some people make huge assumptions that they have been "in the right place" or similarly got where they are by back-door methods. Wake up , the NHS hasn't operated this way for many years now. Anyone who has ever had to shortlist and interview will be very aware of the constraints when hiring new staff.

    We should all be supporting these nurses - it could be anyone else next!

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  • It was me 4 weeks ago and boy was redundency a better option.

    Yes i was a very senior nurse who was seduced by being rewarded to stay at the bedside but when push comes to shove i was the first one who was consigned to the heap.

    Still patient care carries on and i hear my ex colleagues are finding it hard to pick up my role. Care standards will drop but who cares?

    Not management i was a expense.

    I feel for the nurses in Cornwall as there are few jobs out there and they are probably working really hard to keep up standards.

    Next time i find a job it will be working for Sainsbury's coz if the quality is poor no one really cares as they say you get what you pay for.

    The Mid Staffs enquiery should be ensuring that we have a culture of quality care and patient safety in this country, instead we have penny pinching and an attitude that 1 person can do the job of 4.

    Should think we will have a lot of stroke patinets soon as NHS managers clutter up the beds after raising their blood pressure and having a stroke then we will need to re employ specialists to work with them.

    I think the NHS is dying if not dead but not buried

    Still if these staff have the right skills a can do attitude can sweep the floor running and demand little pay for increased responsibility who in this world is going to reject that.

    And remember it is the Top who will look after themselves

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