Publish date: 4 November 2021

To all Secure and Specialist Learning Disability Division Nurses, Nurse Associates and Nursing Assistants

As you will all be aware, we have been in a period of formal consultation regarding the proposed implementation of flexible rostering and a recruitment and retention (R&R premia) for the nursing workforce across secure inpatient services since 5 July 2021. 

The 30 day formal period of consultation was paused in agreement with staff side when some areas within the division entered a period of Business Continuity. The formal consultation period recommenced on 18 August 2021 and has been extended beyond the 30 days to allow for one to one consultation meetings to be concluded.

Staff who have been absent from work have also been provided with appropriate consultation documents and have also been afforded the opportunity to have a one to one.

With agreement from our staff side colleagues, we’re pleased to confirm that the consultation process has now concluded.  This agreement is done in good faith and on the provison that there will be no variation to the employee’s contract of employment.  In line with existing partnership working processes, staff side colleagues will highlight any concerns via the management team.

To recap, during the consultation period online forums were held. Several ward walk arounds have taken place with the leadership team, HR and Staff Side, and all affected staff members have been given the opportunity for a one to one with management.  A pro forma was developed for use at the one to one’s to capture the content of discussions, this provides assurance that notes were made for one to one’s and accurate refection of discussion captured.

The one to ones raised general queries and concerns that centred around issues covered within the FAQ document. The managers during one to ones were able to clarify individual concerns and provided further clarity by referring to the FAQ document.

No other significant challenges have been raised in relation to the proposed implementation of the R&R premia to the nursing workforce within the other secure services across the division.  In addition, no significant challenges have been raised in relation to the proposed implementation of flexible rostering on Maghull Health Park. 

In light of the above, we have re-engaged with Staff Side colleagues and have reached agreement that we will proceed as follows: -

Implementation of flexible rostering in High Secure Services from 13 February 2022. This date links directly with the end of the six-week sheet and is the first date after the festive period. This date will allow time from now until February to upskill managers in Health Roster and allow staff to familiarise themselves with roster policy and accessing health roster.

Implementation of a Flexible Roster for the areas of Rowan View that work fixed patterns September 2022

Introduction of the R&R premia on all secure areas, except for Low Secure services at Whalley, from 1 November 2021 – to be paid in November pay (26 Nov).

Due to a challenge and ongoing discussions with staff side colleagues in relation to the proposed R&R premia for Nursing Assistants on our Low Secure services on the Whalley site, we have agreed to pause the implementation of R&R for Nursing Assistants premia in this specific area whilst this challenge is fully explored.  I would like to provide clear assurance that if following consideration of this challenge the decision is made to implement the R&R premia then this will be back dated for all affected staff in the Low Secure services on Whalley to the date above. This to ensure that there is no financial detriment to any colleagues in this area. 

There is also an agreement to honour the R&R premia for Nursing staff across the Division who have moved area of work since the commencement of this organisational change process.

In relation to the challenge received, I am mindful that the Respect, Civility and Resolution Policy states the following in relation to Status Quo:

Status Quo 

6.12.1 The status quo (i.e. the working and management arrangements which applied before the) workplace issues, conflicts or complaint) should operate provided that this would not be 

prejudicial to Patient/Service User care, until the agreed procedure within the Trust has been exhausted.

In acknowledging risk, safety issues within our ward areas, agreement has been reached that we move forward with the above plans. Our ongoing difficulty in recruiting to the nursing workforce and our high vacancy rate in our secure services is prejudicial to Patient/Service User care.

We will therefore move forward with implementation of the R&R premia for the areas in which he have had no challenge.  This will support our ongoing recruitment process, being able to include the R&R offer in adverts will attract more nursing staff to our division

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your participation in this process. We have listened to all feedback you have given in the various staff surveys and engagement sessions over recent times.

These changes are being implemented to maintain a safe environment, and improve staff work life balance.  We anticipate this will support our ability to attract and retain qualified nurses by the introduction of an R+R premia which further supports our “grow our own strategy”.

Many thanks,

Steve Newton

Chief Operating Officer

Secure and Specialist Learning Disability