Helping the NHS meet its ‘bank first’ strategy 

Thinking of outsourcing or revising your staff bank provision? Here are our top tips for utilising the Flexible Resource Pool: Staff Banks framework

Our Flexible Resource Pools – Staff Banks framework can help NHS trusts to improve efficiency, save money and find effective healthcare staffing solutions. With the scope of services including setting up a staff bank, operating and managing a resource pool and managing contingent labour, we can handle all of your resource pool needs. 

As the first Staff Bank framework to have achieved approval by NHS England, you can access services to help you flexibly manage your workforce, and maximise shift fill rates, whilst ensuring compliance and adherence to NHS Check Standards. 

With NHS policy supporting trusts in developing ‘bank first’ staffing approaches, we can support you in converting transactional agency usage to more sustainable staff bank models. In exploring your staff bank options, NHS Workforce Alliance can provide extensive expertise and experience to support you in finding the most effective staff bank solution. 

NHS Workforce Alliance comprises four NHS hubs and a government agency – so solutions are by the NHS, for the NHS and as the makeup of the NHS is wholly publicly owned, income made from the agreement goes back into the public purse once operating costs are covered. 

Here are our top tips when buying from the Staff Bank agreement 


Ensure you start the procurement in plenty of time as procurement and mobilisation of a new service usually takes 6 to 9 months to complete. For example, if you are replacing your current supplier, consider the contract end dates to ensure your procurement will be complete in good time to allow for transitioning.  

If you do not have a supplier to replace, make sure to set realistic timescales to allow for internal as well as external engagement. Failure to engage with internal stakeholders may lead to unanticipated delays in the process. 


We recommend that you engage as early as possible with the framework suppliers. This helps to gauge interest in your project and gives you time to understand what is available. Suppliers can offer different delivery models and provide tailored solutions to suit your needs. Giving yourself time to discuss this early can ensure you attract the best and most suitable suppliers for your requirements. 

Potential for aggregation?

Are you sourcing individually or have you considered collaborating with neighbouring trusts? Collaboration can widen the resource pool and allow greater flexibility. 

Choosing your delivery model

Make sure to select the delivery model best suited to you. Topics to consider may be:  

  • Do you want the supplier to take the workers on, or do you want to do this? 
  • Will the workers be substantive workers of the trust or bank only?  

This will not only allow the supplier to provide the most sustainable pricing model but also assist in understanding the supplier’s level of compliance responsibility.

Having the details

Ensure you have detailed data regarding the workers through any existing bank over the previous 12 months including: staff group, grade, specialty, shift type. You will also need a full profile of the bank workers and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE ) details for the current staff operating the bank. This will help suppliers to understand your requirement, analyse the size of the contract and shape their offering to best fit your needs. If a current supplier is in place, this information can be provided by them. 


Hone the specification to your explicit requirements by engaging with your stakeholders. It is also recommended that you create a project team to manage the process from end to end. This will provide consistency and allow for more efficient collaboration between us, the supplier and you throughout the procurement and mobilisation process. 

Your specification should be clear in everything you require, for example: 

  • Your anticipated delivery model 
  • Management of any agency cascade 
  • The required staff groups. There is the opportunity to cover all the traditional NHS staff groups. All staff groups can be covered under a single agreement.

Get in touch 

NHS Workforce Alliance can support all aspects of your procurement, please see our website’s get in touch page to contact us.

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