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To swap my shift with someone so I can do an agency shift for £££ ;?

(34 Posts)
Lighthousekeeping Fri 23-Aug-13 14:36:38

It's not like me to be so money grabbing. I got left high and dry a couple of months back and owe a cousin £1,000 so, I'm not doing this for fun. They've messed around with our hours at work so we end up paying back an extra shift a month and no one will do any overtime on the wards anymore. Some of my colleagues have started to do agency and have gone part time as there's that much agency work. I've joined but haven't been called. Until yesterday. I've finished nights so put myself available on my nights off fri and sat then I thought hang on, why don't I try and swap Sunday so I'm available all weekend? I asked a colleague same level as me which is totally allowed. I asked the person who does the rota and she said fine, what's it for? Now, she only asked that because she's my friend and wanted to know what I was up to. I just blurted out "the agency might ring me" and she shreaked "you can't do that!!". I would've thought you can't ring in sick and do agency bus as we are allowed to swap just so we can go out what's the difference? They have rang and booked me to work Sunday which will be the start of my next lot of nights so it will fit in nicely.

I wished I'd never said anything!

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Fri 23-Aug-13 15:13:24

I think you are being a little unreasonable to be honest. You changed your shift on the off chance you might get an agency job. If everyone did that it could prove to be a real pain in the arse for the person doing the rotas.
As a one off it is no different than going on a night out, but if you are going to be doing it more than once in a blue moon it would be very unfair of you.
Also it was very last minute really, which puts pressure on people. If you had asked me to swap at the last minute so you could earn some extra money I doubt I would be too pleased. You don't want to get a reputation for swapping shifts at short notice so you can work elsewhere.
In future don't swap shifts at the last minute unless you really have to.
Whilst I do sympathise with the money issues, it is not your works fault you had to borrow money, so only put down you are available to work bank on days you are already off.

Lighthousekeeping Fri 23-Aug-13 15:38:47

That's what I said. It's a one off. I've waited for them to ring me or so long that now they have I want to do it so I can get a foot in the door. Ideally I will do just one a month. We always swap with each other. The person I swapped with loves these opportunities as it means she can pick a shift for me to work and she'll get to do something exciting and unexpected with her doc. It's mutually beneficial.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Fri 23-Aug-13 15:55:12

I think the person doing the rota is just a bit concerned it may become a regular thing. Plus if they let you swap shifts to do agency and the word gets out others might want to do the same. That would create huge issues on the rotas.
As a one off I think it is ok, but after that I think you need to avoid swapping your shifts on the ward as much a s possible.
Whilst I am sure it was mutually beneficial this time, it isn't guaranteed to be so easy next time. If all your future bank is on your schedualed days off then YANBU.

diamond211 Fri 23-Aug-13 16:28:49

I don't see a problem with it if you've got someone of the same grade willing to swap with you. I used to work in health care and people swapped all the time.
It would be completely different if you called in sick and then went to work for the agency.

I don't see an issue with it tbh. As you say, the person you've swapped with is happy to swap, and it causes no problems for the department or the person doing the rota, so the reason is irrelevant. Pressurising someone to swap, or calling in sick, would be very different, but you've done neither.

ENormaSnob Fri 23-Aug-13 16:47:32

This wouldnt be a problem on my ward.

As long as you aren't exceeding the ewtd hours per week.

Bamboobambino Fri 23-Aug-13 17:13:51

The NHS paying agency rates is a shocking misuse of taxpayers money and one of the reasons why NHS funds are even more stretched then they need to be. So yes in my opinion YABVU

SeaSickSal Fri 23-Aug-13 17:42:49

I don't see the problem with it.

But YABU telling the person doing the rota what it was for. It's put her in an awkward position because it's something that would be frowned on officially.

Lighthousekeeping Fri 23-Aug-13 17:46:27

Did you work on a busy ward doing 12 hour shifts? Have your hours been changed so much that you not only end up paying back at least one 12 hour shift a month you are also forced to take extra unpaid breaks that you don't need? Has your trust cut the overtime pay so much that no-one will do it anymore? I don't blame any of this on the Australians/South Africans/Philipenos that are travelling through London doing agency in the big teaching hospitals and getting three times what I do infancy, I'll be joining them on Sunday. I think it will be a great experience seeing how the big hospitals work. There will be lots of learning to be had. Which will benefit my own ward.

However, what I will not be doing is becoming a limited company to avoid the tax. I am totally anti that. I do have a moral backbone.

Lighthousekeeping Fri 23-Aug-13 17:47:33

That was for bamboo

kilmuir Fri 23-Aug-13 17:50:56

Then Bamboo the NHS should look after its permanent staff better!

Lighthousekeeping Fri 23-Aug-13 18:23:29

Exactly. I'm working more hours now than I have done ever and my pay hasn't changed for years.

serin Fri 23-Aug-13 19:34:47

I don't think the NHS should use agency staff ever, (our Trust doesn't) that's what NHS professionals was set up for.

Also, you are going to be completely knackered on Sunday night as you start your own night shift. I hope you don't end up nursing one of my family.

Lighthousekeeping Fri 23-Aug-13 19:52:37

I start nights twenty four hours after this shift. The shift is after two clear days off. Tiredness won't be an issue. I don't know what trust you work for but, how do you think the big teaching hospitals like UCLH, GOSH, St Mary's etc function without bank and Agency staff? Would you be ok if I did overtime on my own ward for peanuts?

If the person you swapped with is happy to swap I don't see the problem.

Lighthousekeeping Sat 24-Aug-13 00:34:55

Yes she's very happy to swap. Just like I swap Christmas and Summer holidays.

Bamboobambino Sat 24-Aug-13 07:07:25

Hi again. I do in all likelihood know just as much about back breaking and tiredness on NHS wards as you. I worked as a junior doc in the early 1990s. 120 hr weeks were the norm and 56 hr weekends on call. When the system changed later, I started doing 7 day runs of 12 hr night shifts. Before the new junior doctor pay deal of 1999 I earned less than the porters for that overtime, as pay rate was less than for usual hours. I and many others locummed for the trust at my usual pay rate to pay of student debt, and cover rota gaps. We did not do this through agency. I reiterate, you are being VU.

MrsHoratioNelson Sat 24-Aug-13 07:13:49

Bamboo it's hardly the OPs fault that budget/policy means that her PCT employs agency staff. If you think it's unreasonable for the bosses to arrange the system like that, complain to them. Why shouldn't the OP benefit from being able to obtain better remuneration for the work she's qualified to do, if it doesn't negatively affect the working arrangements in her primary job?

Smoorikins Sat 24-Aug-13 07:14:18

I'm kind of intrigued that your 'swapee' does exciting and unexpected things with her doc.

It would be very unexpected if I did exciting things with mine!

If s/he is happy to swap, then it really doesn't matter what the reason is, surely?

FreddieStarrAteMyHamster Sat 24-Aug-13 07:19:17

Bamboo Op isn't cheating her ward nor leaving them short as she's merely swapping a shift with a colleague. She is then legally working agency on her day off. Junior doctor pay and hours used to be awful, they are better now although not great. But they are training posts and once you get to Consultant/GP level the pay goes up considerably. Most ward nurses are at the top of their pay band with nowhere to go and to resent them doing overtime/agency when they haven't had a pay rise for so long is a bit rich.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 24-Aug-13 07:40:18

OP was silly to say why she was doing it. People I work with do agency all the time. Big London hospitals rely on it.

NutcrackerFairy Sat 24-Aug-13 07:46:34

Agree with Freddie.

YABVU Bamboo.

What you had to do twenty years ago as a junior Dr is irrelevant.

Are you still working crazy hours for little to no remuneration Bamboo?

NutcrackerFairy Sat 24-Aug-13 07:51:21

And lots of people do crazy hours for little to no pay when they are training or junior.

It is all about getting the experience.

I actually worked as a volunteer in my profession [so no pay at all] for TWO years before I was able to land myself a paid position.

I funded this... by doing agency nursing on my days off!

Yep, I was one of those jammy Australian nurses working in the major teaching hospitals in London.

Hard work... but the pay was good.

It's a shame that the NHS pays it's own staff so poorly and exploits their goodwill on a regular basis. If they looked after them a bit better there might be less need for back up agency staff.

SPBisResisting Sat 24-Aug-13 07:52:30

I doubt her PCT employs anyone!

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