Why flex?

The NHS unions, employers, managers and staff across the health service share the same goals – we want to make the NHS a better place to work and improve patient care. Flexible working is one of the best ways we can make positive changes that benefit everyone.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working is about you having more control over where, when and how much you work. There are lots of ways to make flex work across different roles and career stages.

It’s not just for specific groups – anyone can request flex, and there are lots of options to consider. Flex is about finding the arrangement that works for you, your team and your patients or service users.

What are the benefits?

Why isn’t it happening everywhere?

  • Despite the obvious benefits, there’s still resistance from some employers – sometimes due to myths about who flexible working is for, and its perceived impact on individuals and teams.
  • But there are also genuine challenges to deliver flexible working in highly pressured and over-stretched NHS environments where staffing shortages can make filling rotas a daily struggle.

Why is flex so important in the NHS right now?

How can you find your flex?

  • There’s no one reason for wanting more flexibility, and no single group or job role who can work flexibly.
  • Whether it’s balancing work with caring responsibilities, flexible retirement or time to develop your interests outside work, better flex could help you achieve your goals and improve your health and wellbeing.
  • Our #TalkAboutFlex website and campaign brings together advice, resources and case studies to help you get started on your flex journey.
  • Explore our finding flex page for NHS staff, or our leading flex page for NHS managers and get your flex on!