Case studies and resources


Below is a snapshot of the different case studies, blogs and resources produced by NHS Employers to help you get started on a sustainable workforce supply strategy.

If you would like to know more information about the examples listed below that do not have further documents attached, please get in contact via 

New and extended roles 
Strengthening your nursing supply  Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has strengthened their nursing supply through the introduction of new roles such as nursing apprenticeships.  They have also mapped out career pathways so that staff can visually identify how they can develop their careers from apprentice through to a chief nurse.    
Integrated health and social care apprenticeship Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust piloted an integrated health and social care apprenticeship, offering hands-on experience to those looking to work in health or social care organisations.
There is no age limit for apprentices

Alison Drage, head of integrated learning at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, outlines the importance of apprentices and how the role does not have an age limit. She shares how mature apprentices bring life experience and lots of enthusiasm to the role.

Degree Apprenticeship Guide A comprehensive guide for employers focusing on degree apprenticeships, providing a range of tips, advice and information for employers to think about how they attract and support the best candidates.
Using the apprenticeship levy  This briefing looks at how NHS organisations can successfully tap in to the apprenticeship levy, and the wider benefits of providing apprenticeships and how they can support with addressing workforce supply challenges.
Access further case studies and resources
Multi-disciplinary teams 
Making staff experts in end-of-life-care Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust's palliative care, education and bereavement teams are made up of specialists in palliative and end-of-life care, adult and child bereavement, and donor support. They provide face-to-face support seven days a week to multi-disciplinary staff, GPs and the district nursing team.
New ways of working - The holistic worker model Nottingham CityCare Partnership introduced a different model of integrated working called the ‘holistic worker model’. Under the new model, health and social care workers in the urgent care team trained in each other's disciplines to enable them to more efficiently respond to crisis calls.
Flexible working 
Flexible working using annualised rosters for shifts and leave  West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has committed to providing flexible opportunities by using a variety of working arrangements including annualised hours to allow staff to balance their professional and home life commitments.  
Flexible working top tips Flexible working is part of good employment practice and these top tips have been designed to help you maximise arrangements in your organisation.
Maximising flexible workforce opportunities Speech and language therapy support managers at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation trust are working with staff to better match requests for flexible working with business need. This has delivered a wide range of flexible working including returners from maternity leave requesting reduced hours, in addition to flexible start and finish times to coincide with children’s school hours, and the use of annualised sessions across the service. Staff without children or dependents have also been able to request flexible working to help fit in with individual health needs and preferences to enable a positive work life balance. 
Recruiting young people 
Tailored induction for young people Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust tailored its induction process to support young people coming into the organisation. 
Hitting the right note with local students

York Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust started to think differently and take steps to develop a more age diverse workforce. Its summer placement scheme was implemented in 2015 and is one of the trust's most successful initiatives. The programme has helped 21 students to gain paid work experience as well as giving them the opportunity to make more informed choices about their future careers.

The right mentoring support for young apprentices Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust provides young people with a peer mentor and a learning mentor to assist with the successful running of the apprenticeship scheme.
Having the right job advert to attract young people South Tees Hospital NHS foundation Trust tailored the job advert for traineeships and this in turn increased the number, and calibre, of young people applying for the role and reduced time in the recruitment process for both staff and candidates.
Access further guidance and support
Armed forces
Evidence base - Employing members of the Armed Forces  Read about all the benefits of employing members of the Armed Forces community from both employers in the NHS and the private sector.
Step into Health BT Case Study BT share their experiences of leading the way as an employer proactively engaging with and recruiting from the Armed forces community.
Tiffany Hemming, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Tiffany Hemming, executive director of transformation at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, shares her experiences of joining the NHS following a twenty-year career in the Armed Forces.  Having been part of the Step into Health programme. Tiffany shares her reflections and the benefits that this programme brings to the NHS.
Access further guidance and support 
Social Media and recruitment 
Northern Care Alliance Read the third blog of the series in how the trust has established their own recruitment Facebook and Twitter pages to engage with the public specifically around recruitment.
A social media journey Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust used social media to recruit and build a brand. They used both internal and external expertise to secure their status on social media. 
Bringing the candidates to you Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust tackled shortfalls in recruitment from a different angle, using a range of social media platforms to strengthen their employer brand and to reach potential candidates in the community.
Access further guidance and support
Values based recruitment/employment 
Values Based Readiness Checklist The readiness checklist is a self-assessment tool that allows organisations to assess their current progress in relation to VBR and values based employment, and identify areas for further work and improvement.
Values Based Recruitment Behaviour Framework The behaviour framework links the values of the NHS Constitution to behaviours which would or would not be expected of staff.
North Bristol NHS Trust
In 2013 the trust piloted a John Lewis inspired assessment centre approach to values based recruitment (VBR), this case study examines how they did it and the impact it had.
Values Based Interview questions for all Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust established a set of values and behaviour framework to underpin everything within the trust. Recruitment managers are encouraged to create questions directly linked to the trust’s values and behaviours framework and so a library of values based interview questions for all staff groups has been created.
Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Trust The trust created a behaviour framework in line with their values to use at all stages of the employment journey – from recruitment through to performance management.
Access further guidance and support 
Staff experience 
Using the Start Well: Stay Well model to support new starters  Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust used staff feedback and engagement with key stakeholders to improve the experience of new starters in the organisation and improve its rates of retention.
Rotational roles briefing This briefing explores how employers in the NHS can develop and implement rotational posts within the workforce, and the benefits in recruitment and retentions it can bring.
How TREN has helped my organisation
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust developed an on-boarding process and started to look at what support employees need in the first six to 12 months so that they remain engaged and stay with the organisation. 
East London NHS Foundation Trust
This trust introduced a holiday of a lifetime scheme where staff can accrue up to five days a year for up to five years and take all the leave at once for a holiday of a lifetime. This has encouraged employees to stay with the organisation and means they don’t have to leave to take such a trip. There are rules around the scheme to ensure adequate back fill and to ensure an increase in agency spend does not occur to cover the leave period.
Access further guidance and support
Health and wellbeing 
Sickness absence and MSK webinar This webinar is packed with insights tailored specifically for health and wellbeing leads in the NHS. Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust share their experiences for managing sickness absence and MSK.
Supporting staff mental wellbeing East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust has recognised that staff needed further support to maintain their mental wellbeing. In order to ensure that staff at every level had assess to a range of support options, the trust developed a number of initiatives.
Delivering outstanding experience for patients through staff health and wellbeing
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust developed a health and wellbeing strategy, including training and support for line managers and employing a mental health nurse for staff. The sickness rate for mental ill health decreased from 14.49 per cent in November 2014 to 9.8 per cent in March 2015. 
Access further guidance and support 
Working with JobCentre Plus 
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust South Tees worked in partnership with JobCentre Plus to provide resources and opportunities to study and participate in employment through coaching and training. It offers 14 weeks of work experience in real working environments for unemployed 19-24 year olds.
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Greater Mancherster University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust employs more than 12,000 staff locally of which 7 per cent are aged between 16-24. The trust actively participates in local employment, and regeneration initiatives; most notable are its pre-employment programmes which are a partnership with the Manchester College and Skills for Health, and are supported locally by JobCentre Plus.
Access further guidance and support 
Work experience 
East Kent University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Bright Futures is a partnership with East Kent College, and Kent Supported Employment to offer internships to people with learning disabilities.
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London medical school work to offer a four day work experience to year 12 students. The MedEx programme is targeted at students from under-privileged backgrounds (specifically those whose family did not complete higher education and who do not practise in the medical profession) who show talent and interest in medicine. They are given insights into different medical careers, including by shadowing a final-year medical student on hospital ward rounds for two days. 
Luton and Dunstable University Hospital  The Apprentice Steps programme offers a blended college and work placement course for young adults with learning difficulties. Due to the lack of apprenticeships which were accessible to people with learning difficulties, this pre-apprenticeship programme was developed by Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Trust in partnership with Luton Adult Learning and Luton Borough Council’s New Horizons service.
Growing the future workforce
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust employs 700 under 25s and offers a variety of work experience, traineeships and apprenticeships to under  25s.
Pre-employment programmes 
Birmingham Children's Hospital  Aspire at Birmingham Children’s Hospital supports young people in getting the skills, knowledge and confidence to enter the world of work via a range of schemes. There are a variety of opportunities available on the scheme including apprenticeships, e-mentoring and internships. The Aspire programme has 27 partners from 11 organisations to help make the programme possible.
North West London Hospitals NHS Trust  The project targets suitable unemployed individuals from communities across North West London for entry into Band 2 healthcare assistant vacancies. CITE designed a bespoke pre-recruitment training programme to bring suitable applicants up to the job entry standards defined by the trust.
Working longer 
Raise awareness of an ageing workforce with age profiling
By age profiling the workforce, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust was able to identify specific areas/professions that would require focused succession planning.
What support do staff need when working longer?
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board delivered an engagement event to find out what staff need in order to be supported to work longer. One of the aims of the event was to look at what was being done within organisations to support working longer.
Our workforce is ageing - what do we do?
York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation trust have started a task and finish group to identify priority areas of work. The trust has progressed on two actions including age profiling and providing guidance for managers and staff on flexible retirement options.
Access further guidance and support
Recruiting from your local community
West midlands Ambulance service
Addressing misrepresented recruitment of BME candidates into the student paramedic roles through offering a comprehensive access to recruitment.
Recruiting locally for the future
Sandwell and West Birmingham Foundation Trust partnered with a local charity to refurbish disused buildings into accommodation for their young apprentices facing homelessness.
Engaging with and recruiting from your local community - episode two

University Hospitals Birmingham has varied initiatives to situate the trust at the heart of the local community, focusing on the factors to success and challenges faced, such as:

  • Why they established them
  • Gaining senior level buy in
  • Supporting modified recruitment and employment strategies
Access further guidance and support 
Streamlining recruitment practices
New initiatives in nurse recruitment  In this podcast, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation trust explain how the recruitment team has worked to ensure a fast and effective process for both the candidate and the trust in their new assessment days.  
Internal transfer scheme to improve nurse retention  University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust shares how it has tackled its high rate if nurse leavers through the introduction of a fast-track internal transfer process, reducing the complexity and time taken to fill vacancies.  
The 5 point plan Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust has significantly reduced the amount of staff time spent completing statutory and mandatory training, saving £750,000 per year while increasing staff compliance and the quality of training.
Rethink employment checks and reduce time to hire
Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust streamlined its employment checks process and cut the time to hire new staff by more than half.  

In just eight months, the time to hire at the trust has improved from an average of 18-24 weeks to eight to ten weeks. The original 127 step recruitment process has been consolidated in to 53 steps and applicants are experiencing a much more efficient and communication-driven process. 
Access further guidance and support 

You can find further case studies and resources here.

Latest Tweets

Latest Blog Post

Integration on the front line - NHS reservists working together

06 / 9 / 2019 2pm

Gemma Wright, programme lead for the Armed Forces programme, blogs about her experience on a military reservists hospital training exercise.

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Log In