‘NHS Passports’ will allow staff to ‘plug gaps’ in any hospital at short notice

A union has warned that patient care should not be compromised for convenience. 

Matt Bodell
7 September 2019
Resus NHS Hospital

Staff will be able to any hospital to plug gaps in staffing and improve patients’ care.

Healthcare staff in England will soon be able to move seamlessly between hospital sites in a bid to make it easier to take on new roles, plug gaps in staffing and improve patients’ care.

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Following successful pilot projects, all hospitals in England are being urged to sign-up to passporting agreements, which will remove the need for inductions and other admin when staff move between NHS organisations.

Clinicians working in hospitals that have these agreements will be able to freely move between any hospital to provide patient care.

The deployment of staff across a number of different NHS sites through passporting has already been trialed successfully at five hospitals across London.

Serious concerns.

Jeeves Wijesuriya, Chair of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Junior Doctors Committee admitted the scheme may bring about some positive changes but warned that patient care should not be compromised for convenience.

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They added; “it is important employers do not use these changes to redeploy staff to unknown areas outside of their training programme at short notice and without agreement – risking our patients safety, training and worsening morale through lack of autonomy.

“Furthermore, the BMA has serious concerns over plans to cut inductions as part of the scheme.

“Inductions are key for patient safety and play an essential part in ensuring that doctors are able to safely practice in new environments.”

Helping to build careers.

Prerana Issar, the Chief People Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement said that the move will help to build the careers of clinicians.

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She said; “This shows we are delivering on our Long Term Plan promises to improve flexible working for staff and ensuring the right clinician is available for patients.

“By making unwieldy paper staff schedules a thing of the past and introducing passporting, we are supporting our world-class staff so they can not only continue to give patients brilliant care, but further build their careers as they do so.”

NHS England also announced the nationwide introduction of e-rostering.

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