Innovative new ways of working by the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS) – which have boosted nursing support to frontline hospital care and saved £1.72m of public money, have won a national award.

Nationally, the NHS faces well documented challenges with nursing vacancies, and the ICS has brought together Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  to improve this for local patients. To better support services at times of pressure, shifts are often made available to “bank” nurses and healthcare assistants – a database of staff who are available for additional work.

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Nursing Bank Management scheme, which launched in April 2018 was awarded the ‘Workforce Contribution in Health & Social Care Systems' category (sponsored by NHS England) at the Healthcare People Management (HPMA) Awards. The HPMA awards are a prestigious national awards ceremony which recognise and reward outstanding work in healthcare human resource management.

The award centred on the innovative use of joint procurement of a single nurse bank provider (NHS Professionals) and collaborative agency management.

Ben Chico, Programme Manager for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said: “Working together to tackle workforce challenges is a key priority for our partners, and this scheme has shown that there are lots of benefits to be had through collaboration.”

By using one single joint provider, our local NHS had saved £1.2m between April 2018 and January 2019 (compared to the same period in the previous year) and an additional £520k was saved in administration costs. These savings have been directly reinvested into local healthcare, allowing an extra 87,000 hours of support to frontline care.

Karen Barnard, Director of People and Organisational Development at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This process has proven significant opportunities exist for Trusts to collaborate, which can add clear value to local Trust approaches. Excellent engagement across Trust colleagues with ICS facilitation have been key.”

Zoe Lintin, Director of Workforce and OD at Chesterfield Royal Hospital said: "We are very honoured to be part of such an innovative scheme, and very proud of our colleague Claire Davies and the team for their work in implementing this. It will be a great asset to our Trust and will help to cement our relationships with other hospitals and staff locally. Well done all!"

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System was also a finalist in another category at the HPMA awards. A collection of projects developed by the South Yorkshire Region Excellence Centre, which brings health and social care organisations together to improve the education and training opportunities for care and support staff, was shortlisted for the ‘University Of Bradford Award for Cross-Sector Working’ and our partners from Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust were also finalists in this category.