Supporting flexible working for staff


20 / 08 / 2009

The organisation
What we did and why
How we did it
The results and next steps
Contact details

The organisation


Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust employs 5,575 staff and provides hospital-based services from three main sites, the Alexandra at Redditch, Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal Hospital at Worcester.
It supports a population of around 550,000 people in Worcestershire as well as caring for patients from surrounding counties and further afield. Each year, it deals with over 95,000 planned and emergency operations, more than 130,000 accident and emergency attendances and around 500,000 outpatient appointments.

What we did and why

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust recognises the need to actively support staff when considering their work and family commitments.   This supports wider activity around staff recruitment and retention.

The trust employs 28 per cent of staff between the ages of 41 and 50 and 24 per cent of staff between 51 and 66+. It also recognises the benefits of greater flexibility in the process of retirement, helping to make this phase in staff’s lives more rewarding and enjoyable. This is an effective way of giving staff the opportunity to “ease down” into retirement compared with more conventional routes.

All levels of staff within the trust access flexible working including deputy directors working part time arrangements. Members of the finance team are also working a nine day fortnight.

How we did it

The trust has introduced a range of services and options to support flexible working.  These include:

  • Childcare support up to the age of 15 for all staff - childcare vouchers are available and can save parents up to £1,195 a year on childcare costs
  • Two hospital nurseries on site each offering 50 childcare places- these also offer holiday playscheme places for children up to the age of eight and for older children. These schemes offer NHS staff discounts of up to 20 per cent.
  • One in seven of staff in the trust is a carer who needs to balance carer support with their working day. A special/carer leave policy is in place, in addition there is a “Carer Guide” for staff that explains what carer leave is available. Staff have access to a range of support including: hospital drop-ins, carer pamper days, free training events that include bills to wills advice and free computer taster sessions, as well as free winter warmer packs.Staff can find out through their staff support co-ordinator about how to access the range of allowances for carers.
  • The trust organises maternity and paternity sessions for staff which are a one-stop-shop offering information about their pay and leave and flexible working opportunities

The results and next steps

There has been positive feedback from staff and managers on the maternity/paternity sessions and since they have been in place, over 220 staff have attended

  • 49.7 per cent of staff work part time and 95 per cent of flexible working requests are granted.
  • The trusts flexible working options have proved to be very successful with 41 per cent of staff agreeing through the staff survey that the trust helps them find a good work-life balance.
  • The survey also showed that 60 per cent of staff agreed that they can approach their immediate manager to talk about flexible working.

Contact details

Jeff Crawshaw
Director of HR

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