HR strategy helps trusts to drive ‘Agenda for Change’

The 10 NHS trusts awarded foundation status at the end of March had to
submit an HR strategy as part of their application. As well as giving trusts
flexibility in terms of employment and rates of pay, trust status also imposes
responsibilities in engaging local communities with employment and involving
employees with decision-making.

"There are specific requirements to engage with the local community,
including governance and corporate responsibility," said Iain Patterson,
associate HR director at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in
Hackney, London.

Foundation trusts will be expected to encourage job applicants from local
communities, he said.

"This should make employment more sustainable. London often trains
people in healthcare specialities, but after their training they leave for
other parts of country. People [originally] from London are more likely to stay
in the area."

Trust employees also have the opportunity to become trust members, giving
them the right to vote for members of the governing body. Patterson said a
third of Homerton University Hospital’s 2,000 staff had become trust members.
He also said that they had elected four clinical staff and four non-clinical
staff onto the governing body.

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