Why NHS Staff Banks Need to be Led by People | Litmus UK

By Helen Pendlebury, Head of Client Services

During these challenging times, the NHS needs the extra capacity Staff Banks offer more than ever. It is crucial that NHS Staff Banks are run effectively to ensure all shifts are filled, and all available resources are properly utilised.

The limitations of stand-alone apps 

Most Trusts have invested in dedicated Staff Bank systems with mobile apps that allow registered workers to easily view and book extra shifts, submit their timesheets and get paid.

These systems have revolutionised banks, but technology alone is not enough to ensure fill, especially in the face of a COVID winter.

Having a large pool of registered bank workers with an app is no use if only a handful of staff are active and willing to pick up vacant shifts.

With key workers already fatigued, a passive app notification is increasingly unlikely to get the desired response.

More and more NHS staff are choosing to forego extra earnings in favour of much needed downtime with their families and clicks on the ‘decline shift’ button are rising fast.

The people + technology benefit

NHS Staff Banks People

With 30 years’ experience in healthcare recruitment, we know that the best way to move the needle on a fill rate is to bring in people and use a human touch to engage staff.

Bank workers need to know that someone is there on site or at the end of a phone to support, appreciate them and understand their priorities.

Using empathy to build a rapport with the staff you need to rely on to fill extra shifts is critical, and it is something an app simply cannot do.

To drive fill to the levels required, hospitals need people who can take a hands-on approach to booking.

Here are just a few of the things our dedicated onsite teams do to ensure that our managed banks run effectively:

  • Proactively call bank staff to persuade them to work shifts. Even the most dedicated of workers need some convincing to spend a Saturday night in A&E!
  • Identify workers with the skills to cover multiple specialties. This helps to maximise available resources but also supports training and development, supporting staff to broaden their experience in different departments
  • Intelligently match workers, ensuring continuity of care is maintained with familiar staff covering regular shift patterns on the same wards
  • Support with all worker queries – making sure bank staff are paid efficiently and promptly, especially important in the run up to Christmas
  • Remove or archive dormant or inactive workers, so resources can be focused on those that are immediately available and ready to work
  • Gather and analyse data, so demand spikes can be predicted, and more advance planning worked into the booking process

Our Staff Banks are effective and achieve outstanding fill rates because we underpin apps and systems with the people and processes needed to support them.

For more information about our approach to managed Staff Banks, led by expert onsite teams, email me direct: helen.pendlebury@litmus-solutions.com

Watch this short animated video to learn more about the Litmus approach to Staff Banks.

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