A Dorset hospital trust has found itself in the centre of a row after banning staff from using their own kettles, fridges and microwaves.
Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital Trust has placed a ban on the use of the appliances in a bid to save energy, cut costs and reduce fire risks. Staff will instead have to use dining rooms, beverage areas, kitchens and rest areas around the hospital.
John Cawood, head of estates at the trust, told staff in an internal newsletter that the trust used £1 million worth of electricity last year and warned it could rise to £1.4 million at current usage levels. But unions said the savings on energy could be counteracted by loss of productivity as staff spend longer away from their desk going to a canteen for a snack or cup of tea.
Graham Parish, regional organiser for workers’ union Unison South West, said: “We have not been consulted over this issue.
“However, we don’t believe this is good use of dedicated NHS staff time. Subject to the kettles being put through health and safety compliance checks, there doesn’t seem to be any logic behind this new initiative.”
But a hospital spokesman said that encouraging the removal of kettles and toasters within offices and wards had been ongoing for “some time” following advice from the fire service.
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