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From the days of implementing e-rostering in a large acute hospital 10 years ago, I have been interested in using systems to support clinical quality, efficiency and staff experience – learning from what the data tells us and implementing changes in practice. Since those early days e-rostering systems have come a very long way and can provide vital information in terms of how efficiently a trust uses one its most important resources – its staff.

Whilst working at the Department of Health for 18 months as the nursing workforce senior advisor for the Carter team, it became evident that although most trusts now have electronic rostering systems, not all realising the full benefits of the systems capability and functionality. And where they are, the good practice is not always shared.

But having highlighted that we do need to improve in many areas by reviewing practice, policies and making clear expectations about use of annual leave, flexible working, 6 week approval times, now is the time to review and put plans in place to be more efficient and productivity.

Over the last couple of months we have developed an Allocate 90 day Rapid Improvement programme with the aim of improving efficiency and productivity by ensuring the right staff are in the right place at the right time to align with patient needs. The programme kicked off with a pre-launch session on September 14th 2016, working with 18 acute trusts to support them to realise their benefits from their e-rostering system. The programme includes a pre-launch meeting plus 3 learning sessions, a series of WebEx, trust visits, monthly teleconferencing and reporting and improvement tracking through data collected from Allocate-Insight.

The objectives are to:

  • improve staff and patient experience;
  • make financial savings
  • provide a structure for learning and action using improvement methodology
  • engage other trusts to improve efficiency   
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On the first collaborative meeting, held on September 14th 2016, trusts discussed and agreed the 2 or 3 areas for improvement based on thorough data analysis in Allocate-Insight. Specific areas of improvement included:

  • reducing unavailability to under headroom
  • reducing temporary staffing spend
  • consistency in roster approval time across wards and departments
  • Reducing avoidable additional duties
  • approving rosters 6 weeks in advance
Improving roster approval lead times blog

Feedback from this meeting, which was made of up of leaders in Nursing and HR, included:

“Looking at the data there are many ways we can make some great quick wins”

“It was good to look at the data and get ideas of where we could make tangible benefits”

“It’s really good to understand where we sit in relation to other trusts – potential for great benchmarking”

The learning sessions will be supported by Trust visits and monthly WebEx/teleconferences to provide ongoing support and sharing learning with each other.

The 18 Trusts taking part in the Allocate 90 day Rapid Improvement programme are:

  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust
  • West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
  • Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  • Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • West Middlesex University Hospital
  • Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust
  • University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ashford and St Peters NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  • James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Follow the conversation on twitter #rapidrostersucess and I look forward to sharing more on the meetings and the learnings in future posts and newsletters.

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