Integrated Health Awards 2023: staffing solution of the year

Here we have the finalists in the category of staffing solution of the year.

Patchwork Health

Overview. Patchwork Health is on a mission to make truly flexible and sustainable working a reality for all healthcare staff. Their fully integrated workforce management solution is supporting more than 100 healthcare sites in optimising outcomes for managers, staff and patients through flexible, sustainable and data-led staffing, and ICS-wide workforce planning. 

Why? Patchwork Health works in partnership with healthcare sites to relieve pressures around staff shortages and agency spend, in addition to arming organisations with insights to drive improvements.

What happened?  Built by a team of dedicated healthcare veterans, and co-designed with the NHS, Patchwork provides a number of integrated products and services. Using an app, approved clinicians can select the shifts that suit them, increasing engagement and giving staff greater control over when and where they work. This helps staff balance shifts with personal and professional commitments, and for managers, helps to increase shift fill rates whilst reducing overreliance on costly third party agencies to plug staffing gaps. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has used Patchwork for their temporary staff bank, leading to £1.2 million in agency cost avoidance. The success of these temporary staff banks has since led to the creation of a number of collaborative staff banks, bringing together multiple organisations and enabling them to pool their staffing resources as an ICS, such as the North West Collaborative bank, which brings together 24 trusts. Another benefit is enhanced workforce predictability and the ability to inform more data-led planning. 

Looking ahead. In addition to supporting staff, which in turn impacts patient care, the use of workforce data and insights enables sites to track staffing trends, spot potential gaps sooner and make more informed staffing decisions as they move forwards.

Pennine Care Foundation Trust 

Overview. Hubs and Heroes is Pennine Care Foundation Trust’s response to a digitally stressed user community, with the vision of providing support closer to the end user through tailored training and support. 

Why? An IT transformation project saw the team visit all 89 sites across five boroughs to support colleagues with digital needs and understand issues. This found issues such as poor data quality on EPR system; reverting back to paper; technology worries; lack of consistency; and more digitally-savvy staff creating their own ways of working, which led to data reporting issues. 

What happened? The team based their approach on the feedback they received through this project and developed digital hubs, serviced by digital support officers. The vision was to have a dedicated space located closer to staff location, so that tey could offer support, fixes and guide people where necessary. The hubs provide a space to learn and to develop better solutions. The trust also developed a Heroes Network, currently at around 100 users, who can be a first port of call for issues and support on the shop floor, who have more direct access. The team of digital support officers have been tasked with going out to users to listen, learn and understand end user experiences, so that they can respond in a timely way to improve their digital experience. 

Looking ahead. As well as building the workforce’s digital literacy, the trust notes that it is starting to see a new attitude to asking for digital help, with people no longer afraid or embarrassed to seek assistance. In addition, the accessible hubs are reducing time spent away from their place of work for staff who are building their digital skills for the future. 


Overview. Verseone sought to create a new Intranet for Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Why? The new Intranet was to encourage higher levels of staff engagement, with personalised experience, an improved search function and an intuitive resource for content to support staff in their roles. 

What happened? The trust aimed to deliver a personalised experience and so gained staff feedback on what mattered, implementing polls and forms to allow them to have their say, and giving them the option to favourite content so that the interface was personalised to their interests. Gaining stakeholder adoption was a key objective from the start; this was achieved through workshops, beta testing and focus groups. A clear communication plan was set to enable maximum adoption and adoption rates were high as a result. Verseone shares that the design was engaging and easy to navigate; the language speaks directly to the user; and signposting is clear, enabling users to access health and wellbeing along with equality, diversity and inclusion hubs. 

Looking ahead. Additions for the project are to include new system integrations and staff forums which will allow for a social space on the Intranet.