Staff Passporting – the benefits and latest in south east London

10 Oct 2023

Staff passporting enables the temporary movement of people more easily between organisations, with mutual benefits for employers and their staff. The concept was successfully used during the Covid-19 pandemic but has since been developed by both NHSE and regional health and care organisations including London.

The benefits: Employees of those organisations who have signed an agreement are able to obtain an ‘honorary passport’ if they wish to, enabling them to temporarily move to other providers who are signatories, to meet urgent staffing needs or skills gaps.

Staff remain with their substantive employer, so the scheme significantly limits the duplication of onboarding tasks for their new host. For employees, the experience can also help support their professional development by working with a new team in a different environment.

The landscape in south east London: Currently there are a number of staff passports available for staff within the south east London system, such as:

  • London Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – a staff movement agreement between London NHS organisations (including primary care) who have signed up in order to enable temporary movement of an employee between NHS/Health organisations.
  • One Bromley agreement – the purpose of this agreement is to enable free movement of staff across One Bromley organisations in the delivery of Bromley Hospital at Home. This is open to both to NHS and non-NHS organisations.
  • King’s Health Partners (KHP) passport – providing partnerships to develop clinical services, research and education and training across the sites of participating organisations.

What’s next

Review of London MOU: The SEL ICS People Programme are currently working with NHSE London region colleagues to review and upgrade the London MOU to enable it to be used for greater cross organisational and collaborative working. This will include potential for partners across health, social care and the voluntary sectors to sign up to the agreement which will enable greater staff movement to support care pathways and staff development.

NHS Digital Staff Passport (DSP): Currently being piloted in England, the DSP enables NHS employees to use their smart phones to share employment and personal details with participating NHS Trusts, enabling easier movement between them. Although it is limited to the NHS for now, the ambition is to extend it to all primary and social care providers.

Recently, NHS HR Directors in SE London agreed to apply to join Wave 4 of the DSP (July 2024). The ICS will be supporting Trusts with their submissions and will continue to engage with other systems and at national level to gather and share useful learning and experience. To find out more please contact the ICS People Programme at