Locum’s Nest launches digital bank for NHS

Written by Peter Walker
05/12/19

Locum’s Nest, the British HealthTech platform for locums, has launched The Digital Collaborative Bank, the NHS’ first digital collaborative staff bank for doctors, in partnership with eight Acute NHS Trusts.

The bank will provide locum doctors with an online platform to access shifts at all participating Trusts, aiming to create one national staffing pool across the whole of the NHS, to help save £1 billion by 2025.

The eight NHS trusts - Gloucestershire Hospitals, Dorset County Hospital, Salisbury, Hampshire Hospitals, Royal Surrey Hospital, Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals, North Middlesex University Hospital and Poole Hospital Foundation Trust - have over 4,500 doctors covering all grades and specialties.

The platform has been launched following the success of the South England Collaborative, which saw Trusts in the south east match doctors to 40,000 vacant shifts this year.

Using Locum’s Nest costs approximately 90 per cent less, according to a statement from the startup, with the cost to the Trust going from almost £5 million to just under £500,000. To date, via the collaborative bank, the involved Trusts are estimated to have saved over £26 million on recruitment agency spend.

The company has grown rapidly in the last 18 months, with the total number of organisations now reaching 200, covering a patient population of at least 10 million.

Nicholas Andreou, co-founder of Locum’s Nest, said: “The power of this collaboration enables Trusts across the service to pool their individual staff banks, thereby creating a much larger pool of potential staff and revolutionising staffing nationwide.”

“The bank goes over and above our work with the app, allowing any Trust and any doctor across the UK to be part of a universal pool – together this will save the NHS millions of pounds per year, all of which can be put to better use hiring more nurses and doctors, updating equipment or offering new services.”

Suzanne Rankin, chief executive at the Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals, said: “We are a founding partner of the South of England Collaborative Bank which has transformed the way we are able to fill our locum medical shifts and enable doctors to work bank shifts across the collaborative without working via an agency.

“It is a transparent way of working and absolutely the way forward. It improves harmonisation of rates, transparency and better controls across the group.”