THE Royal College of Nursing is celebrating the shelving of controversial plans to demote up to 40 theatre nurses at the Great Western Hospital.

Under the proposal, senior nurses and operating department practitioners would have had to re-apply to keep their current jobs.

Those unsuccessful would have been down banded and their wages cut by up to 19 per cent, or just over £6,500 a year.

But following a consultation, during which the RCN and its members voiced concerns for patient safety and quality of care, the trust withdrew the plans.

Julie Connolly, Royal College of Nursing, regional officer for Wiltshire said: “We are delighted for our members and the community that trust management have listened to the evidence that RCN members provided during this consultation.”

Oonagh Fitzgerald, director of workforce and education at the GWH, said :“We have spent several months talking to staff in theatres looking at how we can change the way we work to support better patient care.”