New collaborative nurses bank in NW London

Four NHS trusts have joined forces to create a collaborative nursing bank in London, with the aim of tackling staffing issues.

Around 20,000 nurses will be eligible to join the staffing resource, called the North West London Nurses Collaborative Bank.

Four trusts in the capital – Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust – will use the solution as a platform to share vacant shifts with qualified nursing staff.

The initiative aims to create a pool of nurses who can fill shifts across the four trusts. It’s hoped this will lead to more flexibility and choice for staff, allow nurses to be deployed in line with need, minimise rota gaps, and reduce spend on agency staff.

News of the nursing platform follows the launch of the North West London Nurses Collaborative Bank for doctors earlier this year.

The solution allows staff, who are members of the bank and employed by one of the trusts, to ‘passport their pre-employment verifications’ when moving between sites.

The Collaborative Bank is fully digitised and compatible with the four trusts’ IT infrastructures, with the company Patchwork Health providing a dashboard for management at the trusts’ end, and an app for nurses to use when booking shifts.

It’s expected that further trusts could join the platform over winter.

Lindsey Waddell, Programme Lead – NWL Consolidation Programme, said: “Over the past months, the North West London Collaborative Staff Bank played a critical role helping meet the challenges of the COVID surges. Now, the launch of the North West London Nurses Collaborative Staff Bank will serve to further our shared mission to improve outcomes for patients, staff and organisations.

“With the right tech solutions in place, we can unleash the full capacity of London’s NHS workforce ahead of a potentially challenging winter. This will help to reduce the pressure on an exhausted workforce whilst maintaining the highest standards of safety and patient care.

“Improved regional collaboration is a key objective here at the North West London ICS, so we’re delighted to be part of this trailblazing workforce initiative with our closest neighbours.”