Janet Davies: Yes. We know that facilities time has benefits; we have looked at the evidence and the University of Warwick has done some studies for us and we know that productivity is increased. Certainly, in terms of staff leaving and recruiting, it is much better in a place where there is trade union facilities time, and where there are trade union representatives. Actually, we have worked out that that difference in turnover would save an average teaching hospital £1 million a year. It is a really positive effect that the time gives.
What happens is that our trade union representatives work in partnership with employers, often introducing change, introducing new clinical practice, and investigating things and stopping problems before they start. The proposal could be counterproductive for the good relationships that we have at the moment. Importantly for us as a nursing organisation it could have a detrimental effect on patient care, as it would seriously affect the positive practice environment that we try to create.