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District Nurses - we can work together

Friday, 29 November 2013 14:37
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Dear District Nurses of Gloucestershire,

We've been hearing strong concerns from GCS staff - both district nurses and others - about planned changes to working conditions such as shift patterns and shifts to work location. We know that staff are very concerned about the impact this will have on patients in terms of quality of care, continuity of care, and safety.

We share these concerns. This isn't about  'resisting change' for the sake of it, as some staff have been told. As members of the public, we are very worried that it seems some quite basic questions which will impact on patients too, have not been properly thought through and that the knowledge of frontline staff about what actually will and won't work in practice, seems not to be being listened to enough.

We have been trying to help by highlighting concerns in the press, writing to GCS, etc.


We can continue to speak out, but you have the networks and knowledge that is vital to gather and share information.

How you can help us:

1. Please continue to send us quotes (which we will anonymise before using on our website/in articles)
with your concerns, particularly about how the changes will impact patients. These quotes can be as short or long as you like. Send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (we previous utilised anonymous staff comments in the successful campaign against turning Gloucestershire Care Services into a social enterprise)

2. Please encourage others to do the same, by sharing this information, our website (, articles (such as this one on our demonstration of support with District Nurses) and press releases (eg. this one on our concerns regarding District Nurses) with your networks.

3. If you have not already done so, please do send your concerns in writing to your union reps, so they can report concerns collectively in the workplace.

We are doing our best to help, but when we have raised these concerns as members of the public with the most directly involved councillors (those on the health scrutiny committee) they have either not responded or have told us (in the case of Labour councillors) they are reluctant to raise concerns
because (they say) the unions have not raised any. We are not convinced this is the case - and even if
it were, we are dissatisfied with this answer from councillors, who are here to represent the public. As noted above, there are obvious grounds for public concern.

The more evidence there is of people on the frontline speaking out, the harder it becomes for these concerns to be dismissed. We are happy to help anonymise this speaking out to protect you, though this is also the union's role. Please also think about asking your GP contacts if they will speak out publicly about what is going on, eg in the press.

We really value the work you are doing in the NHS and appreciate the difficult pressures you are under. I hope we can work together to make some difference even if its just to let people know what's going on.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 November 2013 18:38