How could the efficiency of the NHS be improved
through staffing arrangements?
John Adsett, head of personnel, Basildon and Thurrock General Hospitals
• "If I knew the answer to this question, I would bottle it. I think
people are looking for a package that suits them. I think the message is that
you have to try to find a package of measures that appeals to your workforce to
increase their general efficiency.
"You need to demonstrate that you can give them a flexible job, a job
that is going to develop them. People don’t always necessarily move for money.
They often move for career development now."
Lew Swift, HR director, Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust
• "I think the majority of NHS staff do work efficiently but we could
make their lives better by being more family friendly through more enlightened
"People who are happy with the way their work links in with their
family arrangements are inevitably even more efficient. Staff need a comfort
zone where they feel secure or they will suffer stress.
"If they have that comfort zone they can give the best care they can
because they feel they are working with similarly committed colleagues and for
employers that look after them.
"They are very concerned about training opportunities and a good work
Karen Bell, president, Association of Healthcare HR Management
• "I think a skills mixture is very important – for example, with
nursing care assistants and graduates. There is lots of good practice around
the NHS where this has been possible but I think we could be more explicit
"It has to be done in a way that it is not a threat, but we do have
graduates coming into nursing.
"We also need to be radical about flexibility. Before you had this idea
that you could only employ nurses who could work full-time but now it is
possible to be flexible about part-time work. There is still a long way to
James Farrelly, personnel manager at West Lothian Healthcare NHS Trust
• "Where trusts have relied on agency staff there has been a higher
cost in the long term because you pay the going rate and the agency also takes
"What we have done is establish our own bank, a pool of nurses who
already work for us and who are willing to do extra shifts.
"We find there is much more continuity because these nurses are coming
into a familiar environment. That means they spend more time actually nursing
and less time familiarising themselves with where things are.
"You also get more of a community spirit with a bank. Rather than
having strangers come in, the nurses often know other staff there