It's all change at work as we prepare to move offices and we will be crammed into our 'new' building alongside one of the other local teams. This will happen in two weeks time whilst we continue to work around the disruption. As a team we are generally happy about the move and accept that next year our roles will change. From just being crisis workers we will probably take on individual longer term caseloads as we become generic community psychiatric nurses again plus the crisis work. It has come full circle for me in that I will be doing the work I did ten years ago.
I feel sorry for our colleagues in the team we are joining because they will have to join us in working the long shifts, weekends and on calls overnight. We point out the benefits for the clients, days off during the week for ourselves, a shorter working week because we work 10 - 12 hour days instead of the usual 7.5 hours plus the rewards in our pay packets. We also point out that we thrive on the challenges and enjoy the work. They see... "working weekends and called out at night!!" which they are not happy with and regard us with a mixture of incomprehensibility and disdain. They are also aware that one nurse on call at night has responsibility for the 600 square mile area we cover and are horrified by it. One of our senior managers recently had to cover for a shift and some on calls. They admitted they hadn't realised how pressurised and stressful the job was and will be suggesting that senior managers countywide work some shifts to understand what our jobs really entail. I shan't hold my breath waiting for that.
At some point during the next several months we will be moved again to another set of offices because the first move is only a temporary move. The prefab building isn't apparently "fit for purpose" and it will be extremely cramped once we move in. This is in part down to funding issues and, as well as fewer staff in each team, contracts for a variety of things are being renegotiated or not renewed. It's one thing to see cuts and changes in the NHS in the media but this is what happens at ground level. We know the topography of local health and social services will be very different in four years time. For those who wonder about privatisation creeping in, yes it will happen. I wouldn't put your faith in Labour either to stop it because when they were in power they sowed the seeds for it although the monetary fertiliser was wasted on the weeds of excessive layers of administration and unnecessary bureaucracy to underpin ideological targets. Anyway, I regard Ed Balls in the same way I regard the slugs in my garden... slimey, after something I have and not welcome. However, slugs have a purpose in life and are generally more trustworthy compared with most politicians.
However, this weekend is a welcome break after seven frantic days in both jobs. When I wasn't working I was sleeping sums up the past week and this coming Monday looks like a continuation of the same. I will be very pleased when I return full time to the crisis work and no longer have to drive 200 mile days.