NHS Digital Staff Passport moves to its next stage of development

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We recognise moving between NHS organisations can be a long and complex process, often resulting in NHS staff and corporate services teams (HR, Recruitment, Training and Occupational Health) having to undertake time consuming form filling, pre-employment checks and statutory and mandatory training.

The NHS committed in the Long Term Plan to enable staff to move between NHS organisations and the wider health and social care sector. This commitment is reinforced in the WE ARE THE NHS: People Plan 2020/21 - action for us all and as a result the Enabling Staff Movements (ESM) programme was established. The NHS has a clear ambition to simplify and modernise this process to meet the current and future needs of its workforce and service, supported by the ESM programme’s vision:

'Our people feel empowered and able to move easily across the NHS to enhance the delivery of care to patients'

The journey started in May 2020 with the launch of the COVID-19 Digital Staff Passport, which aided the simple movement of staff on a temporary basis to support the COVID-19 response across over a hundred NHS organisations. This interim solution enabled the secure transfer of key staff’s details and employment information, so that the staff member does not need to repeat employment checks if they are temporarily deployed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery of services. To support the NHS in responding to the pandemic, the ESM programme at NHSEI in partnership with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust designed, built, tested and rolled out the first of type NHS Digital Staff Passport. This involved testing new technologies and challenging ways of working; whilst keeping user and service need at its core. 

This has provided many learnings and a strong foundation to develop the programme for NHS Digital Staff Passports.  ESM programme has now embarked on the next phase of our journey to design and build the next version of NHS Digital Staff Passport, initially focused on meeting the needs of two specific use cases; the movement of postgraduate doctors and staff moving on a temporary basis.


What is the NHS Digital Staff Passport?

An easy-to-use app that holds staff members’ essential information – including personal, employment (excluding pay), skills and occupational health. So, when they want to move between NHS organisations, they can quickly and securely transfer the information that’s required, without duplicate form filling, checks and training. The NHS Digital Staff Passport can be accessed by all NHS staff who are involved in the process of staff moving between NHS organisations. This makes the whole experience easier, faster and less repetitive to get NHS staff onboarded at their new trust.

The long-term goal is that every staff member in the NHS will hold an NHS Digital Staff Passport, to support them in their NHS employment to facilitate a wider range of staff movements. The first phase will include the movement of postgraduate doctors and staff that move on a temporary basis. Those staff members within NHS organisations who are responsible for onboarding staff will also be immediate end-users of the system and will realise the benefit to their internal processes. The NHS Digital Staff Passport is to be used for NHS to NHS staff movements, it does not include movement outside of the NHS for example primary care, social care or private healthcare, it is our ambition that in the future it will enable wider movement across to wider health and social care sectors.

There are a number of other projects underway such as Provisioning And Systems Access (PASA), Collaborative Bank and Core Skills Training Framework review that compliments the use of the passport. The NHS Digital Staff Passport programme is fully aligned to and is in collaboration with these projects.

The journey so far

Want to get involved?

If you are a Postgraduate Doctor or an NHS employee temporarily working in another NHS organisation we are looking to hear from you. Our user researchers are keen to share ideas based on feedback from the initial discovery research. The user research session takes approximately one hour, in which you will see initial prototype designs and is an opportunity for you to share what you would expect and like to see delivered. This valuable feedback will help inform the design and development of the final product. To get involved and book a session please email england.enablingstaffmovements@nhs.net with your availability.

What are the benefits?

We have already seen the benefits from the COVID-19 Digital Staff Passport, and the next version of the NHS Digital Staff Passport will bring a great many further benefits including increases in data items available for transfer and technical functionality to create greater efficiencies. Key benefits to be achieved are:

For users:

  • Take control – Staff can hold their own personal, employment, statutory and mandatory training, and occupational health information securely on their smartphones.
  • Save time and effort – Staff can securely transfer their information to any NHS organisation without completing duplicate forms, or repeating checks and training.
  • Be empowered – Staff can move around the NHS more easily – enabling enhancing of skills and experience in the way that’s right for them and their career.
  • Improve patient care – Staff can transfer their information quickly and begin delivering care as soon as possible without admin delays.
  • Feel secure – All the controls and checks are in place behind the scenes so staff can rest easy knowing their information is safe and accurate at all times.

For organisations:

  • Better staff experiences – Speed and simplicity improves the onboarding experience for both staff and HR – helping increase job satisfaction, wellbeing and retention.
  • Improved response – NHS organisations are empowered to quickly get staff to where they need to be to support patients.
  • Save time and effort – Spend less time repeating recruitment checks and verifying training requirements – removing barriers and inefficiencies.
  • Reduce costs – Enabling staff to get to work more quickly means less dependency on agency backfill and easier rota management.
  • Reduce risk – Consistent and robust checking of information improves safeguarding for both staff and patients.
  • Single view – Bringing together staff information from multiple workforce systems to create a trustworthy single source.

Who will be using it?

  • NHS organisations corporate teams (HR, Recruitment, Training and Occupational Heath)
  • Postgraduate doctors when they rotate
  • Staff moving on a temporary basis to work at a different NHS organisation

When will it be available?

  • Initial pilot targeted from November 2022 - March 2023
  • Roll out pilot targeted from April 2023
  • Live service targeted from April 2024

How can I get involved?

  • NHS organisations - If you are interested in the current interim COVID-19 Digital Staff Passport please view other sections of this website for information or visit the 'Registered Organisations' page to find out if your organisation is registered.

If you would like to express your interest in the next version of the NHS Digital Staff Passport, please contact england.enablingstaffmovements@nhs.net 

  • NHS staff - If you would like a COVID-19 Digital Staff Passport to support you in moving on a temporary basis please visit the 'For Staff' page on this website to find out more about the system and how it can help you.