Let's Talk Flex!

With 10,000 colleagues working over five hospital sites as well as within the community we are committed to supporting everyone balance their home and working lives.

Flexible and agile working has one key principle: finding an approach that works for the service, team, and of course you. It is available to everyone and asking for flexibility isn’t a one off event, it’s there to assist you during various stages in your life, whether it's a lifestyle preference, supporting personal development, helping you manage your health, a stepping stone towards retirement, or even help you reduce childcare or other costs in these difficult times, the Trust will consider all requests, and work with you to find workable solutions wherever possible.  

What is flexible and agile working?

It’s all about thinking outside the box. It’s an arrangement which allows you to have greater choice and control in where, when and how you perform your role as long as the approach works, and meets the needs of the service, team and individual.

Such as…

Changes to your working pattern, working week, hours, role or even location.

What are the benefits of flex?

To support people’s life choices and changing circumstances. Having the opportunity to flex how you work can benefit you through various stages in your life. It helps us attract and retain our valuable colleagues.

Colleagues tell us that working flexibly enables them to...

  • Have a better work life balance
  • Manage changes in personal relationships
  • Help with childcare 
  • Focus on their health and wellbeing
  • Supports caring responsibilities 
  • Wind down in later career or towards retirement

What options are available?

The Trust currently has a whole range of agile and flexible working options that can be considered, however, the key is to be creative and find an arrangement that works for you and the Trust. We understand the importance and sometimes challenges of balancing work and life outside of work, and want all colleagues, - and future ones - to feel comfortable and open to talk flex.  

A slight adjustment to normal start or finish times, on a short or long term basis, to provide an individual with the flexibility they need.

Compressed hours enable individuals to work their full time hours over fewer days, but needs to be balanced so the individual does not work excessive hours on any given shift.

Choosing to work days that do not follow the traditional 8am-4pm or 9am-5pm pattern or are not necessarily Monday to Friday.

Working term time only and work minimally or  not at all during the school holidays, but being paid your salary pro rata over 12 months can really help working families. 

Two people paired to share the responsibility for a full-time job. Job pairs may work split days, split weeks, or alternate weeks and are paid only for the hours they work.

In some roles it is possible to work effectively and collaboratively from home, another site, building, coffee shop or a colleague or relatives home.

The NHS offers a range of alternatives available for people as they approach retirement.

Taking an employment break whilst still retaining  employment supports colleagues who may otherwise feel they have to resign. This may be accommodated for 3 months and even up to 2 years.

So how do I talk about flex?

The subject of flexible or agile working can be brought up anytime. That means at the initial recruitment stage, during your interview or once you have accepted the job - we are happy to talk flex anytime!

Top tips!

  • Remember, you can still ‘talk flex’ once you’ve started your role
  • Having early discussions with your manager, thinking creatively and being open to compromise can help with positive flex conversations
  • Asking for flexibility isn’t a one off event, it’s there to assist you during various stages in your life

Don't just take our word for it...

Listen to our Director of HR & OD, Kate Quinn, talk about her experience of flexible working and why she's so passionate to support it in the NHS: