With the UK fast approaching the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the rapid recruitment and deployment of trained healthcare workers across NHS hospitals is set to be a crucial feature in the nation’s crisis response.
However, with the NHS already experiencing chronic staff shortages and up to 25% of doctors currently unable to work – on account of either showing symptoms of the disease themselves or isolating with an affected family member – this challenge will place unprecedented logistical and administrative strain on already overburdened NHS staffing systems.
In a move to help hospital trusts rapidly access the staff they desperately need, leading healthtech startup Patchwork.Health has today announced that it will be making a COVID-19 staffing solution freely available to all NHS Trusts to support their COVID-19 efforts.
Patchwork.Health’s unique technology will allow hospitals to advertise urgent shift vacancies to tens of thousands of qualified medical professionals on its network and through their partnership with the BMJ. This will enable hospitals to draw on a UK-wide pool of clinicians during this period of unprecedented demand, saving thousands of hours of administrative work and significantly speeding up redeployment of health workers to where they are needed most.
Patchwork.Health’s app-based solution can be set up for use by any NHS Trust in as little as five days, meaning that UK hospitals could begin to see the positive impact of the technology on their staffing rotas by Easter. Many Trusts have already embraced the technology: 3,500 COVID-19 related vacancies have gone live each week over the last month and the team has seen a 100% daily increase in clinicians taking up shifts through the app.
The Patchwork.Health team have also enlisted the support of fellow start-ups Wagestream and Truu ID to further ease the burden on NHS systems. Wagestream will enable clinicians using the app to access their wages as soon as they need them, and Truu ID will enable the instant passporting of credentials, helping Trusts around the UK to validate clinicians and onboard them in as little time as two minutes.
Dr Anas Nadar, CEO of Patchwork, says:
“As healthcare workers ourselves, the Patchwork.Health team are acutely aware of the strain that this pandemic is placing on NHS staffing systems.
“Now is the moment at which our collective actions as a nation will define the success or failure of our management of the COVID19 crisis.
“At Patchwork, we have made the decision to put all commercial interests to the side in order to play a vital role in the COVID19 response, and we are proud to be able to put our COVID19 solution to use in serving the NHS at this time of national need.
“We urge our fellow players in the healthtech space to follow our lead and offer barrier-free assistance to the government and the NHS at this critical moment.”