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Tips for Workforce Winter Planning
03 December 2018

Winter is well on its way, and can be a challenging time for the NHS. As the number of people passing through hospital doors increases, the demands on hospital staff mean trusts are often working to full capacity. Poor weather and increased flu outbreaks put departments under pressure as hard-working hospital staff strive to give the same high standard of care to increased numbers.

To help you with your winter planning, the Hub's Workforce team has put together some tips to prepare for the upcoming months:

Staffing capacity
Ensure departments are staffed correctly so your trust can safely meet the demands of patients.

It is also important that departments are not overstaffed to the point that it may create a financial burden after the winter period has finished.

Reduce the data burden and improve information flow
Are all IT systems operational and clear escalation processes in place with stakeholders, suppliers, department leads?

Do your organisation's job advertisements give agencies adequate information to fill the role appropriately and on time? 

Close agency management and collaboration
Work with key agencies on the National Clinical Staffing framework and Preferred Suppliers Lists (PSLs) to ensure they can supply compliant staff at framework approved rates.  

Rota Planning
Staff rotas should be circulated for the winter period in well in advance to allow bank or agencies to fill shifts in good time. Appropriate planning can help you avoid cancelled clinics. 

Public Information and Communication
Manage your communications to the public so they understand when to contact health services, and when they should consult with a pharmacist or manage the issue with self-care.


If you have any concerns about readying your organisation's workforce for the busy winter months ahead, please get in contact with the Hub's Workforce team: