Staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital have been left in shock after being told their pay will be reduced after they failed a ‘nonsense’ test.
A source working in the hospital’s Mandeville Wing told the Bucks Herald a number of senior nurses were asked to take a psychometric test as part of reapplying for their jobs. The tests are said to include questions such as what they would do if a ship they were on was sinking.
The source, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said at least six nurses in the wing had failed and as a result are to be switched to a lower grade role with less pay.
Unison representative Steve Bell said he was unaware of the reports, but described such tests as ‘meaningless’ and ‘unfair’. Mr Bell, secretary of the Bucks health branch of Unison, said: “I fail to see how it actually measures someone’s ability to do what they have been professionally trained for or how it measures their ability to care for unwell people.”
He also warned the downgrading will hit the quality of service patients get and said if staff were strongly opposed to the changes the union would ballot for industrial action.
Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust , which runs the hospital, said: “We are undertaking a review of our theatre services, to ensure staff with the right skills are working in the most appropriate roles to provide the best care for our patients.”
But the whistleblower said: “The management have let us down badly. It’s an insult and a nonsense. The morale has hit rock bottom. We are a family and that’s how we work. We have weathered storms before now but this is a new level. The whole building is in shock.”
Pay protection means staff will not have their salaries cut immediately, but Mr Bell warned those whose pay goes down may leave.
He said: “They will get up and leave to look for posts that recognise their skills and experience. You will see a gradual deterioration in the quality of service as they leave.”
It is not known who will be brought in to cover the roles of downgraded staff.
The trust said: “Whilst any review may result in workforce changes, we continue to work closely with all staff affected to ensure we retain their skills and experience within the trust.”