Possible changes to South West nurses' pay and conditions 'barbaric'

A Gloucestershire nurse has said that potential cuts to sick pay and allowances for working anti-social hours are "pretty barbaric".

Lisa Crooks, a steward with the Royal College of Nursing, said the plans could result in nurses looking for work in other regions.

She said she was also worried about the possible effect on patients.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust said the plans were still being drawn up and nothing had been finalised.

The government is considering introducing regional pay for public sector workers and the South West could be among the first areas to have it introduced.

'Worrying implications'

In June a leaked document, put together by a consortium of local health trusts, revealed proposals for the introduction of regional pay, which could see thousands of NHS staff in the region working longer hours for less pay.

Ms Crooks said the changes could mean that staff would no longer be able to afford to work in the South West, which would affect patients.

She said: "In Gloucestershire, it would be very easy to commute to either Worcester, or Oxford to do exactly the same job for better money and better conditions and be able to afford to stay in the profession, rather than what's currently being proposed in the South West.

"All the proposals are pretty barbaric for nurses in the South West and have some very worrying implications for patients and carers too.

"If you lose the best nurses, it goes without saying that patient care is going to be affected."

A Royal College of Nursing branch meeting about the possible changes is due to be he held in Gloucester on Tuesday evening.

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