Shorten NHS Shifts

NHS workers currently work 12 hour shifts. WHY? That is far too long. Please shorten the maximum length shift to 8 hours for all NHS workers.

Why the contribution is important

NHS staff work hard, but they shouldn't have to work half of each day. It's too long and it's unnecessarily tough on them and on their family life. How many of the rest of us have to work a 12 hour day? What the NHS staff do is critical. They shouldn't be tired when they are making life changing and life saving decisions day in day out.

by EAM on May 07, 2020 at 09:26PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.8
Based on: 16 votes


  • Posted by AlisonM May 07, 2020 at 22:22

    Shorter shifts and better pay for NHS staff and carers. Surely we now recognise how much they deserve this. Please let Scotland take the lead in building the more compassionate world we all want in our hearts.
  • Posted by BUTEMACS May 07, 2020 at 22:50

    I don't agree with making shifts in certain jobs shorter, as an NHS shift worker who does 12hr shifts, on day shift which begins at 7am I have to get up at 4.30am shower have breakfast & leave at 5am even although my commute should only take an hour it involves going through a major city & as the traffic gets worse I have to arrive at work an hour early to miss the traffic & make sure I get there on time to put on my uniform etc & start my shift, in the evening I finish at 7pm but often I can still be working at 8pm as the nature of my job means I cannot leave my patient in the middle of treatment so might not get in till 8pm or even later but the traffic is not as bad because my shift ends after the peak home time traffic I only have time to eat & go to bed at 9pm to be able to get up again at 4.30pm & go back to work but doing long shifts means I get more full days off sometimes a few in a row to rest do have proper quality time with family & if my shifts were made shorter I would have to work far more days to do the same contracted hrs this would mean many hours more valuable time commuting probably finishing at peak traffic time & could double the amount of fuel used so I am happy with 12 hr shifts which I have been doing for nearly 20yrs now and personally don't want that to change, but it might be good to give a choice to other roles in the NHS.
  • Posted by Purple23 May 07, 2020 at 23:44

    Yes, this is vitally important. Shorter shifts for a more alert staff.
  • Posted by Zilsniggy May 08, 2020 at 03:14

    If the shifts are shortened and an 8 hour day introduced, then there will be more days spent at work.
  • Posted by Aonghais May 08, 2020 at 05:11

    From analysis of work in the oil industry, it was found the workers became less efficient and more likely to make mistakes after 8 or 9 hours and where work was more intense it was not possible to maintain an effective standard, physically or mentally for 12 hours each day. In an offshore environment 12 hours was the effective time involved, for NHS staff they will also have the time travelling to and from work which could be an extra hour or more each day.
  • Posted by Dragon May 08, 2020 at 07:40

    This is a great idea. Shift patterns in the NHS have been the same way for years and it has never changed to take account of modern day.
  • Posted by carlian219 May 08, 2020 at 08:03

    Having worked 12 hr shifts in hospital under normal care conditions, it’s tough and tiring. I can’t imagine how physically challenging it is wear PPE for that duration. 12 hr shift working through a pandemic is not sustainable. Staff resilience currently remains encouraging but the longevity of this situation will require additional changes to the current working patterns and conditions in order to prevent complete burn out and staff illness. We are asking our nation to be kind to each other - let’s start with our health care workers and look at their shift working hours to make sure they are in line to ensure optimal health for them. We are asking the public’s help to shield our NHS and save lives - actually reviewing systems and work practices in the NHS will also do this too that’s why I completely support a change to 12 hr working days for nurses and midwives. SG was in the process of legislating safe and effective staff for NHs Scotland, if you include shift hours and patterns this will be more effective than only ensuring the numbers on shift are adequate, as less human error will take place due to reduced tiredness and burn out. Thank you for considering this extremely important subject, it is an area that has required considered work for many years, the current shift system has a considerable negative impact on NHS resources and funding.
  • Posted by carlian219 May 08, 2020 at 08:05

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by Johnbasssimpson May 08, 2020 at 08:25

    We are killing our nhs staff slowly on theses patterns, home and social life’s are put on hold until the Shift pattern has run its course. We need more Clinical staff todo a 3x 8 hour shift instead of a 2x12 hour one. 7-7 shift means childcare starts at 6 and ends at 8 which is unsustainable.
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