Royal Berkshire Hospital nurses discuss shift changes

Nurses at a Berkshire hospital are discussing plans to change their shift patterns.

Managers at the Royal Berkshire Hospital say switching to a 12-hour working day could save £500,000 a year.

The system, which allows staff to work a three-day week, is used elsewhere and many nurses prefer having fewer shifts.

But opponents say it can lead to excessive tiredness and risk patient safety.

Lindsay Meeks, from the Royal College of Nursing, said she had "concerns".

She said: "Royal Berkshire Hospital is merely talking to their staff at this moment in time.

"We certainly are concerned about 12-hour shifts, because eight-hour shifts are considered to be the optimum lengths.

"If you're doing these three 12-hour shifts you can be extremely tired and fatigued, lose concentration and safety can be compromised."

The Royal Berkshire Hospital said it would discuss the shift changes with individual ward teams and would not impose 12-hour shifts.

The potential savings were identified in the Royal Berkshire Hospital'sCouncil of Governors Meetingin January.

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