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Digital “staff bank” saves NHS millions


An online workforce initiative pioneered in the North West has become the country’s “biggest flexible staffing project.”

The North West Doctors in Training Collaborative Bank (NWCB) was set-up to help Trusts reduce their over reliance on external staffing agencies and enable trainee doctors to work more flexibly and safely to meet patient demand across the region.

It has saved £1.2m on agency spend since 2020 and retained £6.2m of staffing costs within the NHS.

The project was led by St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust, using technology from Patchwork Health.

“As the North West Collaborative Bank has grown over the past two years, all of the teams at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust are excited to see its impact similarly flourish,” said Catherine Lothian, Assistant Head of HR at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

“We’re so proud to see our work with Patchwork Health and our colleagues across the North West delivering genuine transformation and benefits for our clinical trainees and workforce management teams. This collaboration is helping to unlock increased flexibility for staff and providing managers with greater predictability and workforce oversight.” 

Today they have revealed that 24 Trusts in the North West have now joined the project, which means that more than 6000 doctors can now book shifts anywhere in the region.

The technology, built by Patchwork Health, broadcasts shifts to doctors. They can share their credentials between Trusts, enabling doctors to work shifts outside of their host organisation, without the need for repeated checks or paperwork. 

“We’re delighted to see the North West Collaborative Bank going from strength to strength and to be celebrating such fantastic results two years after launching,” added Dr Anas Nader, Co-Founder and CEO of Patchwork Health.

“It’s a privilege to be working alongside all 24 participatingTrusts to provide a sustainable staffing solution which benefits everyone, from the region’s clinical trainees through to their patients and employers. Collaboration has never been more important in the NHS, and this initiative is proving just how powerful it can be in supporting a healthy and adaptable workforce geared towards the ever-changing healthcare landscape.”

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