HR for the NHS

Renowned for our specialist experience within the NHS, we are a natural extension to NHS In-house teams. We speak your language and understand NHS policies and workforce issues which makes us a powerful tool to have in your tool kit when you need specialist time and resource for your important projects. Not only that we have worked in the NHS, we know what it’s like, we care about the quality of work we can deliver, the individuals we deal with, and most of all – You.

We understand the pressures and risk involved something which a regular HR consultancy would not have experience of or would take into consideration. Whilst our full range of HR services are offered, these are tailored to healthcare providers exact needs and requirements for more specific HR clinical services which include:

Cultural Reviews

We work with NHS Trusts to carry out cultural reviews which provide an independent, objective, robust and fair assessment of the facts, dealt with in a sensitive manner for all concerned.

Having NHS Workforce policies in place is important, however these alone may not be enough to embed good practice across an organisation and would fail to satisfy a judge at a tribunal that your Trust is taking it seriously. Many managers have not had the practical experience, exposure or the right training in this area, and often find it challenging to manage the wide range of diversity within the NHS workforce or their own teams. A cultural review offers the Trust an opportunity to check whether the policy and procedure is embedded into the organisation and find the root cause of the issue.

We help Trusts find solutions, provide learning and of course mitigate against tribunal claims where individuals have raised specific issues within grievances of discrimination, bullying and harassment, victimisation etc.

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Complex Casework

If your Trust and its HR teams are under resourced and need assistance with complex HR casework, then our team can provide you with impartial and experienced consultants in protected time, that will enable your HR teams to concentrate on the operational and strategic demands in running a busy and pressured NHS Trust.

We are subject matter experts and through experience, understand the environment the NHS is working under, and the issues faced. We are a natural extension of your team and can assist with the rise in multiple gross misconduct allegations for one case following the pandemic, and the specialist, time consuming cases such as harassment and discrimination and newer types of issues such as transgender and non-binary cases.

Workforce Transformation

Optimising your workforce and resources is key when struggling with staff and skill shortages. We have worked closely with Trusts to identify opportunities to solve issues by engaging with managers and taking them on a journey to work creatively and more efficiently, enhance learning opportunities for them and potentially provide recurrent cost improvement savings that can be invested in new roles or systems and infrastructure.

Managers often hold the key to optimisation but have not had the autonomy or skills to make changes.; We coach and train line managers in basic workforce planning and provide them with tools and techniques to find the best solutions for their teams. We can also highlight shortfalls or underused resources within the workforce or within systems and processes.

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Consultancy Projects

We have a team of HR practitioners with niche/specialist skills in particular areas such as workforce transformation. organisational change, TUPE, line manager training, organisational development and facilitation, cultural reviews, implementing new systems and processes, project management and service improvements to support your in-house teams.

Our practitioners can be used on an ad-hoc basis, parachuted in to help your Trust deal with specific projects, offering you experience as and when you need it.

“We help our NHS HR Heroes help the rest of our NHS Heroes to keep delivering services for patients”

The Benefits of using Centric HR when it comes to the NHS
  • We are specialists in NHS employee matters and HR clinical services
  • We provide bespoke services tailored to your needs whether ad hoc or fixed price packages to suit your budget
  • We work in partnership with specialist NHS Employment Solicitors
  • We will work to understand your needs and offer advice that will add value to your services
  • We take a solution-based approach based on case-by-case risk assessments
  • We are a reliable and dependable provider and the repeat business we have from our existing clients is testament to this.

“We are a natural extension to your in-house HR team”

NHS Trust's Case Studies

The challenge
Ensuring additional resources are value for money

An NHS client wanted Centric to review the hourly rates of the nursing bank staff.  Analysis showed that local market rates for bank staff were way above that of other local trusts and was driving locally employed nurses to act in such a way that was detrimental to the core workforce; hence Trust nursing costs were spiralling out of control.

The result
Monthly recurrent savings of £50k

New rates were benchmarked and reset to ensure that the Trust would still attract bank workers and be competitive with other local trusts, but would not affect the core workforce and would encourage local staff to work additional hours as opposed to bank work. This assisted with local loyalty and commitment and saved the Trust £50k per month.

The challenge
Error in rota cost a fortune!

Our NHS client had set up their long shifts rota for nurses incorrectly and had not realised.  They were paying for a break that should have been unpaid and not providing adequate rest times for staff who worked 12 hour shifts.  This was both unsafe for patients and exhausting for staff, and resulted in staff resources not being utilised efficiently.

The result
Safe practice and a recurrent saving!

Centric HR found this error within 2 weeks of analysing workforce information.  We were able to articulate to the Board the potential dangers of working in this way and illustrate potential savings of £600k recurrently per year.  Centric HR then wrote and implemented the change programme and realised even more recurrently savings of £720k per annum.  The Trust saved on bank and agency usage and effectively gained back 100s of shifts per year.  

The challenge
Shortage of staff

The NHS Trust were suffering with a national shortage of staff which meant there was a huge reliance on bank and agency staff at a huge cost. There were also a number of skills gaps identified, other members of staff were under utilised and there remained a poor career pathway for staff therefore it was difficult to attract and retain staff.

We were set a task of completing a workforce transformation strategy to resolve the issue whilst:

  • Offering no compromise on quality or safety.
  • To enhance cover, skill-mix enrichments  to improve the patient experience/care.
  • Optimise resources and work towards greater efficiencies.
  • Engage nursing staff and managers throughout the process.
  • Ensure clinical effectiveness and ensure working to top of licence.
  • Build robust workforce plans for the future.
  • Understand risk and ensure mitigated wherever possible.
The result
Workforce efficiencies

We delivered a successful workforce efficiencies plan that incorporated:

  • Optimised Resources that did not compromise on quality or safety
  • Moved to 2-shift system contributing significantly to CPIP
  • Explored and planned for skill short-falls within certain areas
  • Mitigated risk within retirement demographic over next 5 years
  • Ensured clinical workforce work to top of licence or band
  • Introduced support roles to assist high demand areas/improve patient experience
  • Proactively developed a 5-year plan for new roles such as TNAs and ACP roles.
  • Provided a true flexible working model that met the needs of the organisation

Our plan addressed all of the issues and provided the trust with some significant cost savings of £1.7million in the first year, whilst the potential savings over 5 years is on track to deliver savings of £8.3 million.

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HR for the NHS