Innovative recruitment

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust: Eliminating agency spend ​

Summary: The trust’s agency spend on Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) was high and rising, this caused not only financial pressures but concerns about care quality. The trust set itself the ambitious aim of eliminating agency spend on HCSWs entirely. The trust’s strategy involved a team approach of a multidisciplinary team, recruitment to bank; the trust encouraged agency HCSWs to join the bank and made this easier by developing assessment centres for block interviews, using social media to promote these changes. Recruiting substantively as the trust recruited over 100 substantive HCSWs by advertising internally and recruiting directly from the bank; recruiting substantively from the trust’s own bank HCSWs became an ongoing strategy.

Key Themes: Onboarding, Innovative Recruitment, Sustainable Recruitment

Key Contact: Dee Staveley, Head of Temporary Staffing ​

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Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: Implementing values based recruitment​

Summary: The trust acknowledged that Values Based Recruitment (VBR) helps attract and select employees whose personal values and behaviours align with the trust, and in-turn improves patient care. The trust was previously implementing VBR elsewhere in the trust but decided that it would streamline the approach and expand this to nursing staff and Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) recruitment. To achieve this, the trust devised a framework which would inform interview questioning and developed bespoke training for managers. This training was informed by volunteer experience. A new role was established to bring previous volunteers into paid roles as co-trainers. This training has now been built into the managerial ‘SUCCEED’ programme and has been largely well received.

Key Themes: ​ Onboarding, Innovative Recruitment, Reducing Attrition

Key Contact: Joanne Wing, Head of Recruitment​​

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Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: A local approach

Summary: Covid-19 brought significant recruitment challenges, including an increased demand for HCSWs. Turnover in HCSW roles within the trust remained a concern and was consistently higher than average across the organisation. Funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement enabled a complete review of how the trust attracted, assessed, selected, and retained their HCSW workforce. The trust established a task and finish group, wrote a detailed action plan, and set out to plan a very localised approach which involved engaging local towns and all partners within it.  Following successful implementation of a multi-pronged strategy, the trust vacancy position more than halved. In addition, great local partnerships have been established and will continue to be productive as the trust progresses with their approach.

Key themes: Innovative Recruitment, Community, Care Certificate, Sustainable Recruitment, Reducing Attrition, New to Care

Key contact: Stefanie Johnson, Head of Recruitment and Volunteers

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Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Rapid, large scale centralised recruitment

Summary: The trust had a high proportion of Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) vacancies and saw an opportunity to reassess the recruitment processes. Through implementation of group interviews and interview panels the trust has managed to reduce the vacancy rate from 10% to over-recruit in eight months (equating to 500+ HCSWs). Additionally, the trust has managed to achieve an average of a four week turn-around from initial offer to start date (subject to notice period). This process has been critical for the trust but also reportedly enhanced HCSW wellbeing and value.

Key Themes: ​Innovative Recruitment, HCSW Value

Key Contact: Nicky Sinden, Associate Director for Nursing Workforce Supply, H&IOW STP​

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Southampton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Centralised Healthcare Assistant (HCA) recruitment​

Summary: The trust developed a recruitment strategy which centralised recruitment across the trust. This included allowing for multiple Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) vacancies to be recruited via a single advert and giving the recruitment team, rather than clinical hiring managers, responsibility for shortlisting candidates. The team used a three-step assessment process, that included an online application, a telephone interview, and an assessment centre (conducted by clinical staff) to reduce clinical time needed to recruit HCSWs and ensure good fit for the role.

Key Themes: ​Innovative Recruitment, Sustainable Recruitment, HCSW Value

Key Contact: Patrick Treasure Jones, Recruitment Manager​ ​

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Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust: Future you​

Summary: The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust recruits Apprentice Clinical Support Workers (ACSWs) based on their values. As part of the recruitment and selection process, applicants discuss the role of the ACSW in detail with the apprenticeships team to understand the responsibilities and expectations of the role prior to attending the​ assessment day. At the assessment day, candidates participate in scenarios such as looking after a patient who is complaining of pain. The behaviours the candidate demonstrates enable the trust to assess if they are in line with the ‘Leeds Way Values’ – patient-centred, accountable, collaborative, empowered and fair – and so can be successful in the role.

Key Themes: ​Innovative Recruitment, Reducing Attrition, Sustainable Recruitment, New to Care

Key Contact: Lyndsay Murden, Lead Nurse – Education​

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Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Framework for career progression​

Summary: The trust wanted to reassess how recruitment was carried out to maximise efficiency of the process and quality of the recruits. To achieve this, the trust conducted research focusing on turn-over rates, grievances and exit interviews. These findings inspired the trust to implement a pre-screening process based on the NHS values. The recruits would undergo a telephone interview before being able to apply for the role. Successful candidates were invited to interview days (which were pre-set, along with shortlisting dates) and the candidates would find out on the same day if they had been successful or not. To improve retention, new recruits are interviewed at the 3/6/9-month marks and comments are addressed at the monthly managerial meetings. The trust has witnessed several key successes. Most notably it has reported an 88% recruitment rate as a direct result of the pre-screening.

Key Themes: ​ Onboarding, Care Certificate, Innovative Recruitment, Pastoral Support

Key Contact: Sharon Barker, Nursing and Midwifery Quality Lead for Safe Staffing​

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Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust: The integrated programme

Summary: Newcastle Hospitals act as an ‘anchor organisation’ within the wider health and social care system in Newcastle, and therefore acknowledge their responsibility to support their partners. The trust wanted to use their experience and best practice to inform and support the organisations that were finding it hard to recruit whilst also bridging the gap between the local community, the local council and Newcastle hospitals. The trust held conversations with various stakeholders and proposed eight Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) apprenticeships placements.

Key themes: Onboarding, Development Pathways, HCSW Values

Key Contact: Eleanor Jarvis, Widening Participation Project Coordinator

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North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust: Team support worker case study

Summary: The trust was experiencing high levels of absences due to sickness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and heavily relied on bank staff also offering financial incentives for staff doing additional hours. Band 7 ward managers were approached to identify pressure points. The trust utilised feedback and proposed creation of the band 2 Team Support Worker (TSW) to fill the gaps in various wards and departments.

Key themes: Reducing Attrition, Onboarding, Sustainable, Innovative recruitment

Key Contact: Karen Sheard, Deputy Chief Nurse

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Northampton General Trust: Nursing Talent Academy ​

Summary: The trust developed a Nursing Talent Academy Apprenticeship Pathway from Health Care Assistant through to Nursing Associate and Registered Nurse.  Its purpose was to build upon the Nursing Associate pilot and part-time Registered Nurse programmes which were already in place within the trust.  Using an apprenticeship approach also helped to improve retention. It also built up on the trust’s internal mandatory 3-week HCA induction training programme and Care Certificate programme.

Key themes: Onboarding, Care Certificate, Reducing Attrition, Development Pathways

Key Contact: Practice Development Team ​

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The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust: Large scale recruitment of Healthcare Support Workers (HCSW)

Summary: The trust had over 100 HCSW vacancies and an average turn-over of 10 per month. In addition to needing to fill the vacancy gaps, the trust recognised that they had never had the opportunity to properly invest in diversifying their HCSW workforce, as such they decided to remove the prerequisite for health or social care experience during the application process. Due to the need to get people into the trust quickly, the trust centralised recruitment rather than wards individually advertising and opted to over-recruit to counter the turn-over rate. The trust also reviewed the process of collecting references and chose to prioritise induction and training for HCSWs starting on the most at need wards. Since beginning the project in January 2021, the trust has made 69 offers of employment, with 57 HCSWs in post.

Key Themes: Onboarding, ​Innovative Recruitment, Pastoral Support, Sustainable Recruitment, Reducing Attrition

Key Contact: Louise Graham, Recruitment and Benefits Manager​

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