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Roster Optimisation Consultation

14th November 2019 

Following the meeting held on Friday 8th November 2019 between BCUHB and Staff Side representatives, we jointly agree that the proposed standardisation of Nursing Rosters has been put on hold.

  • We recognise the genuine concerns raised by nursing, midwifery and healthcare staff and their trade unions on the proposed shift changes during the recent consultation exercises.
  • We recognise that there are lessons to be learnt on how trade union and staff consultation exercises are carried out in BCUHB in the future to ensure that they are genuinely meaningful.
  • As a next step we will jointly examine the current 30 minute breaks to understand whether the Breaks Policy is being applied consistently and following a joint analysis and comparison of all data, both soft and hard, identify measures to remove the barriers that prevent all staff taking their current breaks in full.
  • One of the key areas for further consultation is a commitment from BCUHB and Staff Side to work together in a Joint Working Group. This group will seek to gather more information from nursing, midwifery and health care staff to establish if staff are taking in-work breaks or not and potential barriers.
  • BCUHB management and the trade unions accept that no changes will be made to current rosters for nursing staff until it can be satisfactorily evidenced and jointly agreed that the current Breaks Policy can be consistently applied and is sustainable for all relevant employees.
  • No changes to rotas will be made until discussions on all aspects of the proposed changes have taken place and agreement has been reached.
  • No timeline will be applied until both sides are satisfied that full consultation regarding breaks has taken place and affected staff have had their input.
  • Going forward, BCUHB and Staff Side have committed to continue to work together to improve employee relations for the benefit of staff and patients at BCUHB.

Gary Doherty, Chief Executive

Gill Harris, Deputy Chief Executive / Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery

Sue Green, Executive Director of Workforce and OD             

Jan Tomlinson, Unison and TUP Chair

William Nichols, RCN and TUP Secretary

Jackie Hughes, SOR and Independent Member

Ben Bowden, GMB 

Alison Pawley, UNITE     

Cheryl Brown, Royal College of Midwives


6th November 2019

BCUHB have received a joint letter from Unison, the RCN and Unite requesting that we do not progress with the proposed changes to nurse rotas until further discussions have taken place.

Gary Doherty, Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said:

“We welcome the joint communication from Unison, RCN and Unite. We are absolutely committed to working together with our Trades Union partners. While we focus on our partnership working and how to move forward together, we will not progress the proposed changes. We can also confirm that the agenda for the Extraordinary Local Partnership Meeting to be held on Friday 8th November will be dedicated to this matter.”


30th October 2019

The changes to nursing rotas are intended to protect the health and safety of nursing staff and to ensure that they are deployed in the most effective way. Making sure we have sufficient numbers of appropriately qualified staff to match the demands of our services will help to further improve safety and consistency of care.

There are currently 100 different shift patterns in operation across the Health Board and a variance in unpaid breaks from no unpaid break to one hour 15 minutes.

These changes will standardise shift patterns, handover durations and break durations across all divisions. As well as introducing a consistent system across the Health Board for the first time, we estimate that we will reduce our reliance on agency nursing staff and deliver £527,000 of savings.

These changes will take effect as of January 2020 and the roster period will be extended to 12 weeks from the current four weeks to enable greater forward planning and to extend the period in which contracted hours must be worked.

Response to Consultation Document for Changes to Nursing Rosters

Equality Impact Assessment

Finance Performance Committee - Nursing Shift Change Proposals

BCUHB Message to Staff