Grow your own bank


St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust shares its experience and process of developing a skilled and experienced temporary workforce.

In January 2018, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust launched a campaign to ‘grow their bank’ using innovative strategies relating to both external and internal recruitment. 

Aims of the initiative

The aim was to develop a skilled and experienced temporary workforce to support wards and services through filling rota gaps without the need to utilise agency staff and ensuring staffing establishment is always managed well.

What was successful?

  • the campaign has proven to be very successful as the trust bank has grown by 20% with 574 individuals joining since 1 January 2018, 24% of whom were recruited externally
  • the trust implemented structured recruitment plans to further fuel its external campaigns across 2018, involving continuous recruitment for bank registered nurses and monthly recruitment for bank health care assistants
  • bank recruitment was tailored in order to specifically meet staffing needs. One of the initial steps taken involved a review of their filled and unfilled rates for bank shifts, working on the premise that a 100% bank fill rate is the optimum for any trust
  • the trust also identified its lowest bank fill rates, and therefore highest agency spend were paediatrics, accident and emergency and intensive care and developed tailored campaigns, all of which were heavily promoted via social media. 

An important element for the trust was to ensure bank processes and procedures were reviewed and updated with a clinical input in order to advance the staffing solutions service — in order to best meet the requirements of wards and services.

Using social media to promote the campaign

Another success has been the closed Facebook group set up for bank staff to join to receive news, updates, tips, appreciation and information on outstanding bank shifts. 

The group has also been extremely effective in creating a sense of community amongst bank staff and bridging the communication gap between staff and the trust staffing solutions team. 

The group now has 653 members and continues to receive positive feedback from staff with one individual getting in touch especially to tell the team she thought the group is ‘a brilliant way of communicating with (the team) from home’. 

Other social media channels include Twitter and LinkedIn.


St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have shared their tools so that others can create their own 'grow your own bank' materials without the need to start from scratch.

This content has been submitted to our website by a member of our user community.

Related resources

‘Grow your own’ — a proactive approach to retaining nursing staff

Shared learning


Reducing expenditure on NHS agency staff: rules and price caps

Framework/compulsory guidance


Learnings and initiatives from our retention masterclass

Shared learning


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