Setting Up a Successful Collaborative Bank

This article will explain how the Patchwork Collabrotive bank module works and the benefits your organisation could achieve by joining forces with neighbouring organisations to increase your staff pool.

What is a collaborative bank?

A collaborative bank is a concept of pooling together your existing pool of temporary bank workers with another organisation, thus increasing the total size of your available pool of workers to be shared across organisations. Patchwork offers two main collaborative bank models, the lead employer model and the distributed model.

Both models will allow registered workers to use the Patchwork App to see shifts across any organisations that form part of the collaboration. Either way, the worker only ever has to register at one organisation and will be paid by one organisation, making the user experience better than joining multiple banks.

Promoting the fact that your organisation works in collaboration with other organisations, can make a huge difference in attracting bank-only workers to join your bank instead of more costly agencies, thus supporting your organisation in reducing escalated agency premiums. 

We have a full range of case studies, webinars and materials that can be accessed on demand here.

Lead Employer model

The lead employer model works by having one organisation that takes full responsibility for the onboarding and recruitment of workers, and advertising shifts across all participating subscribed organisations. 

Read the case study on the successful implementation of a lead employer model with the North West Doctors in Training Staff Bank here where over 20 NHS trusts have joined forces to share staff to support the filling of bank shifts.

Distributed model

Each participating organisation takes responsibility for growing its own pool of staff and allows workers to access shifts from across the participating organisations. Organisations then conduct scheduled recharging processes in the background which can be automated through our Patchwork Insights tool and customised for your organisational needs.

Read the case study on the successful implementation of a distributed model with the North West London ICS collaborative bank here, where four neighbouring organisations; Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial ColledgeHealthcare NHS Trust, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, have broken down the barriers of competition and focused on collaboration to solve their workforce challenges. 

What are the benefits of a collaborative bank?

There are many benefits to setting up a collaborative bank which supports organisations at many levels.

  • Increasing the size of your available worker pool
  • Providing more opportunities to staff to work within the NHS and gain experience
  • Encourage the recruitment of staff onto your bank instead of an agency
  • Support retention efforts through extended flexibility and choice
  • Workers can see shifts across all organisations that meet their staff group and grade and can be filtered by speciality and available dates.

Read more about the benefits and reasons why you should consider setting up a collaborative bank by clicking here.

What are the considerations that should be made when starting a collaborative bank?

  • Engagement of all key stakeholders - these should include clinical leadership, workforce managers, finance managers, operational managers and communication teams. Bringing the right stakeholders together through the initial planning stages and ongoing steering/working groups, should allow your whole organisation to be heard, fears mitigated and make any launch a success. 
  • Rates of pay - although not essential for the technical side of setting up a collaborative bank, some organisations wish to remove competition by harmonising rates across the collaborative. 
  • MOU - ensuring your organisations have a memorandum of understanding between all participating organisations to cover of any of the workforce employment, and compliance agreements between all parties.
  • Process alignment - considerations about the key process should be made to harmonise ways of working, from onboarding, advertising, engagement, lead times, grades, skills and others. By working collaboratively, you want to ensure that your organisations are adopting the best processes from all organisations to provide consistency to workers and services.
  • Change of mindset - many new organisations considering collaborative banks worry about losing staff to other organisations. This is not really the case, instead what happens is you are working collaboratively to encourage staff to remain working in the NHS without needing to join agencies to work at other organisations which they were potentially doing anyway.

What would we need to do to start a collaborative bank?

Want to find out more about how a collaborative bank could support your organisation meet its workforce transformation objectives, start by contacting your account manager or contact by filling out the form here.