Work to recruit health professionals to Cumbria, save money and improve patient care and staff experience has been shortlisted for three national awards.
The HPMA Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding work in healthcare human resource management. Joint work between North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH), Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) has been shortlisted in the Health Sector Jobs Best Recruitment Initiative and Welsh Government award for working smarter. In addition Suzanne Hamilton, Deputy Director of Workforce and Organisational Development at CPFT, has been shortlisted as Deputy HR Director of the year.
NCUH, CPFT and NWAS have been working together for some time to strengthen recruitment efforts across each organisation. By attending recruitment fairs, hosting recruitment events and recruiting abroad together using a joint brand the teams have been able to attract more recruits to the area.
Caroline Hastings, Operations Manager for NWAS, said: “Working together makes perfect sense. Previously we were competing for the same candidates, all paying to attend the same job fairs and all trying to promote Cumbria as a great place to live and work. But by working together as one team we achieve so much more. We’ve saved money, created jobs that span across our organisations and helped to raise the profile of our fabulous county!”
Another shortlisted project aimed to reduce spend on agency workers across CPFT and NCUH. External outsourced vendors have been replaced by an in-house managed solution in a project focusing on saving money, improving quality and patient safety and reducing vacancy rates. The project has already saved £8million at NCUH and £600,000 since being introduced more recently at CPFT. It has been recognised as a national exemplar by NHSI and was praised in the latest CQC inspection for NCUH.
Amanda Dunkley, Head of Attraction, Agency & Bank for NCUH and CPFT, explained: “The impact of this work has been huge for us but it also has the potential to make a real difference to trusts up and down the country in terms of safety and financial savings. We’ve drastically changed the way we work with agencies, are reducing our recruitment gaps and the hard work has really paid off. We really believe we are saving money to save lives.”
Suzanne Hamilton is one of three who have been shortlisted nationally in the Deputy HR director of the year category. Suzanne was nominated based on testimonies from a number of colleagues who described her inspirational leadership and the impact she has had on developing joint working across the health and care system.
Kate North, Head of Workforce Futures and Inclusion, who nominated Suzanne for the award, said: “Suzanne lives by our Trust values, challenging behaviours and practices when necessary. She is a supportive, motivational manager and a shining example of inclusive leadership. She has the ability to quietly and effectively listen, to see things from another person’s perception and to influence. She is such as asset to our transforming Integrated Health and Care System.”
Stephen Eames, chief executive at CPFT and NCUH, added: “To be recognised in three categories is absolutely excellent and testament to the hard work of our HR teams. Our recruitment efforts are really paying off and we have done some very innovative work that deserves a place on the national stage. I’d also like to congratulate Suzanne for her achievement. She is a well-respected and influential leader and it is wonderful to see her receive national recognition for her work.”
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Manchester on 6th June.