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The Trust's Partnership Agreement has been in place since November 2004 and outlines the facility time arrangements within the Trust. 

All staff reps are required to complete a monthly return to record their facility time activity. These returns enable staff reps to claim re-imbursement for their directorate/department from the central budget held within W&OD. 

We are aware that facility time is not being fully recorded and reported by trade union colleagues and this is something that has been raised with union colleagues and a matter we are reviewing with our local Senior Union colleagues.  In order to meet the statutory requirement to publish something, we can only rely on the data which is known to us, which is that which is set out in our Partnership agreement.  This will demonstrate the minimum amount of time spent and will not be a full representation of the actual time spent on TU duties across the Trust.    

During the period 2017-18 the Trust had 42 employees (38.85 full time equivalent) who were relevant union officials.    

The Partnership Agreement lists the following as recognised trade unions/staff organisations:


  • British Dietetic Association (BDA)*
  • British Medical Association (BMA)*
  • Royal College of Midwives (RCM)
  • Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
  • UNISON (including BAOT)
  • Society of Radiography (SOR)*
  • British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS)*
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)*
  • Federation of Clinical Scientists*
  • General Municipal Boilermakers (GMB)*
  • Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists*



The Partnership Agreement currently has the following Allocation of Facility Time Hours:

  • Staff Chair - 2 days per week
  • Staff Secretary - 1 day per week
  • RCN Reps - 4 days per week
  • UNISON - 8 days per week
  • RCM - 0.5 days per week
  • UNITE - 1 day/week
  • Other TU/Staff Organisations - 1.5 days per week (those marked with * above1)


'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital