BOSSES at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital have refuted accusations that staff were being asked to use annual leave to break up 10 day shift patterns.
A member of staff from the Belvedere Road site contacted the Mail claiming that employees were being asked to use their own holidays to help the hospital put an end to long periods of work.
This comes after the recent published Keogh report into major failings at the hospital highlighted the fact that many workers reported regularly working very long shifts.
Brendan Brown, director of nursing at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said “It is not our policy to ask staff to use annual leave to achieve this.
“There are occasions when nursing staff do work a stretch of ten days in a row.
“However, these are short, not twelve hour shifts, and relate to shift requests made to us by members of staff or based upon clinical requirements.
“Processes are already in place to ensure these stretches are compliant with working regulations.
“This practice occurs across the country in most hospitals.”
Hospital chiefs also announced that plans are being discussed in an effort to try and alter shift patters for staff at Queen’s.
Mr Brown added: “As a trust, we are now in consultation with our nursing staff regarding the introduction of a new shift pattern, as already agreed in response to feedback from staff.”
Last month, The Keogh report into mortality rates within the trust pointed to a wholesale lack of understanding about the quality of care as well as a culture of clinical decisions being made by those who were not qualified to do so.
Queen’s Hospital in Burton was placed into special measures by the Government, in a bid to ensure that the bad practice uncovered is not allowed to continue.
The investigation was launched in the aftermath of the Mid-Stafford Hospitals scandal, which saw the Francis report uncover evidence of serious failings within the hospital, which led to the unnecessary deaths of patients.