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#76350 11/06/21 4:45 PM
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MattC81 Offline OP
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Hi, just want to see how other departments structure break times and lunch. Dont need to know where you work just hours, break times and lunch times. Asking for a friend đŸ¤£

We currently try and stick to a 8am till 4pm day with a 15 min refreshment break and 30 minute lunch.

MattC81 #76353 12/06/21 5:42 PM
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No takers yet on this one, then, Matt?

OK; I see you mention "Trust" and so imagine that you're really (only) interested in NHS scenarios ... but I'll chip in my tuppence worth anyway ... and repeat my oft-reported assertion that I believe that in-house Biomed Services should be a 24x7 operation.

Basically a three-shift system with an hour or so overlap at each change-over. The "night-time" shift would usually be at reduced staffing (maybe just the one tech), unless something special was planned ... blitzing PM "catch-up", for example.

Regarding meal times (one per shift) ... these need to be at least one hour. Other breaks will be taken "as and when", and will be of the "tea-break" variety. There should always be a kettle in (or adjacent to) the workshop!

I generally get all sorts of "feedback" (howls of anguish and-or derision) when I mention this stuff - shouts of "unsocial hours", Health and Safety, "lone working" ... and much more; all of which I regard as hogwash, and an impediment to providing an efficient service to equipment users.

And before anyone starts moaning about finding staff willing to work "unsocial hours" ... there are such folk about (I used to be one of them). You can clear a lot of PM during the night shift (when you can get access to Theatres, and other such places).


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
MattC81 #76355 13/06/21 11:59 AM
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Flexible hours 8am to 6pm. As long as they agree what their start time is and work 7.5hrs. :-)


Be Proactive and reactive.
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MattC81 #76362 14/06/21 9:23 PM
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MattC81 Offline OP
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Thanks for the reply Geoff, I have worked in departments that cover the 24x7 with on call systems but never night shifts. Although I used to go into theatres once in a while after hours to blitz all the vaporisers. My boss at the time got around the lone working safety issue by giving me a rape alarm đŸ˜‚.

MattC81 #76363 14/06/21 9:26 PM
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MattC81 Offline OP
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Thanks John, are brews allowed during your 7.5 hours or are they added onto the end of the shift?

MattC81 #76364 15/06/21 1:17 PM
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Ha ha ;-)


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MattC81 #76366 15/06/21 2:16 PM
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I notice that you don't mention smoke breaks, Matt ...

Meanwhile, I doubt that any NHS hospitals have biomeds on site 24x7 ... my own experiences recall situations in some other parts of the world ... where (despite having a guy already in the building) I was often (too often, in fact) called in during the night every time something deemed "serious" was going on. One of the joys of living on site, no doubt.

But seeing that you have now mentioned "on call" (another can of worms), how about the "duty technician" palaver* ... yet another potential cause of friction within the "team".

"Blitzing the vaporizers" is a good example of what I was driving at, by the way.

* A word but rarely seen on this forum.


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
MattC81 #76386 01/07/21 11:07 AM
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Our department offers on-site cover between 08:30 and 16:30 Monday to Friday but we work flexi-time offering longer hours.

Some staff prefer to start their day at 07:00 and others later (no later than 09:30) generally keeping the department staffed until 17:30. Lunch can be taken between 12:00 and 14:00 so there will be always at least one available to attend a job. On-call is available outside the standard department hours.


Solihull Hospital
University Hospitals Birmingham
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