Driving better temporary staffing outcomes at a mental health service provider – Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust


829% staff bank growth since launch

Average 98% shift fill rate since launch

Pay rate escalations reduced to 32% average in the last 12 months vs 54% in the first 12 months

On average, shifts advertised 22.5 days in advance in the last 12 months compared with 16.9 days in the first 12 months

Median shift sign-off to payment approved below 3.5 days consistently since launch

The Challenge

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) provides mental health and learning disability services in County Durham and Darlington, Teesside, North Yorkshire, York and Selby.


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was increased staffing pressure on clinical services which led to more agency locum staff in teams. This increased the administration for temporary staffing teams, as there was no digital staff bank programme in operation.


The Solution

TEWV partnered with Patchwork to launch a Trustwide digital staff bank for medics. With wrap-around support from the Patchwork team, including ongoing account management and automated reporting capabilities, the solution has relieved the administrative burden on managers, provided workers with wider flexible working opportunities, and helped the Trust reduce costly agency usage. This is ultimately improving the Trust’s ability to plan staffing in advance and ensure demand is met in a sustainable, cost-effective and streamlined manner.


829% staff bank growth since launch:

The Trust now has a wider pool of available medics to tap into, and as a result, shift fill rates have increased to an average of 98% since launch. This consistent and engaged network of approved clinicians has reduced the reliance on agency workers and improved continuity of care for patients.


Reduced pay rate escalations from 54% to 32%:

Not only has Patchwork’s digital staff bank solution decreased costs, but the Trust now has greater visibility over medical pay rates. Access to this data has enabled managers to align on agreed rates, reducing escalations significantly in the first year alone.


Improved workforce planning:

By relieving the administrative burden through process automation, temporary staffing managers are freed up to plan workforce activity more effectively, instead of having to use complex manual systems to plug gaps at the last minute. Over the last 12 months, shifts were advertised 22.5 days in advance, compared with 16.9 days in the first 12 months. With increased digitisation and more streamlined processes, the Trust has seen a positive impact on shift fill rates and cost avoidance.


Wider flexible working opportunities:

With medics now able to book and work shifts via one easy-to-use app, the Trust’s workforce is benefitting from a wider range of flexible working options. Approved clinicians can now fill shifts across the Trust in line with their own commitments, access a greater range of professional development opportunities, and get paid more efficiently. Median shift sign-off to payment approval has consistently remained at just 3.5 days since launch.

Patchwork has helped us maintain safe levels of staff in line with patient demand, and effectively manage last-minute shift vacancies.

Paul Haytack Medical Staffing Manager

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