NURSES at a hospital treatment centre have been told toilet breaks must be logged on their official timesheets.

A leaked memo dated in January tells staff at the Ramsay Health Care treatment centre, which carries out orthopaedic work such as hip replacements at Banbury’s Horton Hospital, to record the times they stop for a drink — or visit the lavatory.

The treatment centre carries out about 300 procedures a month, the majority for NHS patients.

General manager Julie Worth said the issue was not newsworthy.

She added: “The purpose of the memo is very clear to me — to remind staff both that they should take breaks, to fulfil our duty of care as an employer, and to ensure these breaks are recorded at the time, to fulfil our duties to our patients by knowing where staff, should a patient require immediate assistance.

“There is nothing unusual or ominous about this and the memo is entirely in good faith.”

Royal College of Nursing convener Debbie Pearman condemned it as a Big Brother tactic.