Nurses Losing Confidence In The States Of Guernsey

15th May 2019

Nurses’ confidence in the States of Guernsey has been lost according to the Royal College of Nursing.

The rift between nursing staff and the States stems from a ‘series of missed opportunities’, a statement from the RCN said.

Two years ago the College welcomed a strategic review in to the terms and conditions of employment in Guernsey, however they say the eventual implementation plan has fallen short of their expectations. It was hoped the recommendations made would have beefed up nurses pay, and the framework of conditions surrounding it, as well as a more robust system of patient care in the island.

The RCN say their members are tired of vague promises from the States, while describing the recommendations made as a slap in the face.

Julie Lewers is a Senior Regional Officer, she has released this statement:

“After several months we were hopeful of a solid implementation plan that would enable us to work in partnership with the States to get the best outcome for nurses. Instead, we get a rushed overview seemingly only released after we threatened to go public, with an equally insubstantial, albeit longer, plan following a week later.

“The plans are vague with no solid timeframe around delivery and outcomes. Understandably our members are extremely angry around the latest developments. They see it as a slap in the face as well as the final straw in their trust and confidence that their employer is really committed to sorting out nursing pay, terms and conditions.

“Members are fed up of vague promises from the States. At a recent branch meeting, members told us how a shortage of staff and an increase in workload has led to nurses feeling burnt out and not valued. Our members are regularly working above and beyond their contracted hours to ensure that patients get the best possible care which is admirable, but not sustainable.”

The States has responded with surprise. Policy and Resources has released the following:

‘We’re really surprised at the comments from the Royal College of Nursing.  Our view is that negotiations have been moving forward in good faith. The situation as it stands is that an offer is currently with the RCN.  Our understanding from our most recent communication with the RCN is that it was their intention to ballot their members on that offer. 

We are currently attempting to contact the union representative to seek further clarification on their current position and any concerns they have, and hope to continue what has so far been an open and honest dialogue.’

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