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Joint effort by staff and managers aids success of seven-day working project

A seven-day working pilot at a London hospital has been hailed as a success.

An extended day and shift system has increased respiratory physiotherapy provision from an average of 45 to 84 hours per week at St Thomas’ Hospital.

‘This project secured a front end investment of £500,000,’ said Jacky Jones, head of physiotherapy at Guys & St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust.

 ‘Implementation was achieved in full consultation and partnership with staff, who have led the delivery and evaluation of the pilot.’

Ruth Kent, CSP steward and highly specialist physiotherapist, told Frontline:  ‘A lot of our members were opposed, so working groups were set up looking at on-call, weekend, training and so on.

‘We came up with a counter-proposal we felt was best for patients and for us. 

‘In an ideal world we would prefer not to work weekends and late at night, but it has certainly made a difference to staff morale that the service is based on what we asked for.’

Claire Sullivan, assistant director of CSP Employment Relations and Union Services, applauded the joint effort.

‘Our experience is that seven-day working systems require real investment of both money and time if they are to be successful in a sustained way,’ she said. ‘Where investment is forthcoming, they can deliver real benefits to patients.’


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