Nurses at Chorley Hospital’s A&E deparment are threatening to withdraw their “goodwill” after claims they are working up to 17 hours a shift.
The medics have put the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust “on notice” that they will refuse to stay beyond their scheduled finish time of 10pm if the situation is not resolved within the next 30 days.
And they have made allegations that some have been threatened with disciplinary action if they insist on leaving the unit until every patient has been treated - even if that means working well beyond midnight
A letter signed by nursing staff has been delivered to Trust bosses. In it they say: “We the undersigned write to formally give you 30 days notice of our intention to withdraw from the goodwill situation that expects us to stay late until the last patient has left the Emergency Department. The situation was discussed with the management teams prior to re-opening and has continued to be a problem ever since.”
The A&E department was controversially closed down in 2016, due to staffing problems. It was re-opened last year, but only between 8am and 8pm. The nurses are contracted to work until 10pm.
Karen Partington, Trust chief executive, said: “We agree that this isn’t acceptable and apologise for the disruption this has caused them and their families. We have agreed a number of actions to make sure they are able to leave work on time.”