Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust delivers successful recruitment in partnership with Jobcentre Plus

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31 / 01 / 2013

This case study outlines how Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus (JCP) to promote real work experience in the healthcare sector. This has led to employment opportunities for individuals in typically high turnover roles. 

We have also produced a short video with the trust which talks about the valuable relationship and how it was developed and nurtured.

The organisation

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the biggest hospitals in the UK and has two of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. The hospital provides high quality acute hospital services for Leeds and the surrounding area and acts as a regional centre for a number of specialist services such as cancer and cardiac surgery.

What we did and why

Leeds Teaching Hospitals strives for excellence and is committed to ensuring patients receive a high standard of care. Workforce strategy is aligned to this commitment and as part of their quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) programme encourages the use of innovative practice to recruit, develop and retain the best people. The trust has over the last 10 years delivered a range of employability programmes through its partnership with Leeds City Council. Building on this embedded and established infrastructure, Leeds Teaching Hospitals recently worked in partnership with JCP to set up SBWAs to provide candidates with experience of working in clinical support worker roles. These SBWAs have proven to be an excellent way of opening up recruitment to individuals who might not previously have considered employment within the healthcare sector. Furthermore, the scheme has had a great deal of success in attracting high quality candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, many of whom have gone on to secure permanent employment within the trust. 

How we did it

The first task in setting up the SBWA was to work out the details of the programme, which consisted of recruitment (complying with NHS standard employment checks), training, work placements and ongoing support.

The hospital was fortunate to have an existing relationship with Leeds City Council through Employment Leeds which developed and supported the delivery of the Employability Programme and provided an existing framework to build on for the promotion of ‘real’ work experience opportunities via the SBWA model.

The core components of the SBWA Programme for clinical support workers were as follows:

  • Pre-employment training relevant to the needs of the hospital
  • A work experience placement within a hospital ward setting
  • A guaranteed job interview.

To role out the programme, Leeds Teaching Hospitals worked in partnership with JCP to match people seeking work experience. This matching exercise was followed by an open day, recruitment assessment (which included numeracy and literacy testing), and finally an interview. Successful individuals then received 2 weeks worth of specific training (provided through a college) before moving into an agreed four week work experience placement within the hospital. At the end of the placement individuals were invited to apply for a clinical support worker apprenticeship leading to a formal Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care qualification and, if successful, employment into a permanent clinical support worker role.

Results and next steps

Since JCP is a specialist in recruitment, working in partnership with this organisation has allowed Leeds Teaching Hospitals to develop localised solutions to drive improved service delivery, which has made a valuable contribution to its QIPP agenda.  

Leeds Teaching Hospitals was one of the first organisations to set up SBWAs and this programme has now been running since January 2012. There were three intakes in 2012, the results of which are detailed below. Furthermore, the partnership between Leeds Teaching Hospitals and JCP has been such a success that a further four intakes were delivered in 2013.

Intake 1

  • Number of placements taken on - 15
  • Drop out during the 6 week programme - 0
  • Number of completed placements and final number interviewed - 15
  • Apprenticeships offered into clinical support worker programme - 13
  • Other - 2 (1 offered clinical support worker and 1 went to private sector).

Intake 2

  • Number of placements taken on - 13
  • Drop out during the 6 week programme - 3
  • Number of completed placements and final number interviewed - 10
  • Apprenticeships offered into clinical support worker programme - 6
  • Other - 4 (1 went to private sector).

Intake 3

  • Number of placements taken on - 13
  • Drop out during the 6 week programme - 4
  • Number of completed placements and final number interviewed - 9
  • Apprenticeships offered into clinical support worker programme - 8
  • Other - 1.

Tips for other trusts

  • Identify hard to fill positions
  • Secure commitment at a senior level to ensure success
  • Engagement from key staff
  • Partnership working across a number of areas and a commitment to making this work.

Contact details

Harjit Tanda, Head of HR - Harjit.Tanda@leedsth.nhs.uk 0113 2065944

Deborah Sadjadi, Employability Programme Co-ordinator - Deborah.Sadjadi@leedsth.nhs.uk 0113 2066569

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