Allocate’s MedicOnduty, MedicOnline and LocumOnduty boost morale and enhance patient and staff safety, while helping reduce agency spend.
Medway NHS Foundation Trust has announced its successful rollout of an e-Rostering platform from British software company, Allocate, to its team of 550 doctors and consultants. Allocate’s system has empowered medics to easily manage their own shifts and enabled Trust management to optimise staffing, improving staff morale, ensuring patient and staff safety, and contributing to a drive to reduce agency spend.
The Trust’s rollout of Allocate’s MedicOnduty, MedicOnline and LocumOnduty has replaced multiple paper-based rotas to give medics and Trust management full and unprecedented visibility of working patterns, leave and sickness requests. This has enabled the Trust to optimise staffing levels on wards and safe working hours for medics, improving doctor’s work/life balance and ensuring patient safety.
Medway NHS Foundation Trust is a single-site hospital; Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent. The Trust employs around 4,400 staff and serves a population of more than 424,000 across Medway and Swale, providing clinical services to almost half a million patients a year.
The Allocate platform allows medical staff to view their own and others’ on-call rotas, record call outs, book holiday, study and sickness leave quickly, and integrate with the integrated iCal electronic calendar app for better visibility with personal calendars. By providing a fully integrated view of medic’s rotas and leave, the Allocate e-Rostering platform also allows the Trust to ensure fairness on shift allocation and ensure adherence of contract rules to safeguard patient and staff safety.
Alison Smith, Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s Head of e-Rostering, said: “The Allocate rollout has made a huge difference to our medics. The junior doctors love it because it empowers them with a level of information and control that was previously impossible. They can do everything on their phones, making the system easy and intuitive to use wherever and whenever they want. It also gives them visibility of rotations and shifts well in advance so they can better plan their lives.
“At a consultant level, they can now see which junior doctors are on their on-call board so that they know who’s on their team ahead of time. This visibility at all levels has really helped with team morale. The system doesn’t let people work too many shifts and so we’ve been able to eliminate that risk to patients and to the doctors themselves.”
The Allocate platform has also delivered significant operational and cost improvements, ensuring that only shifts that need to be covered are approved for locum support, helping to reduce agency spend. Allocate’s LocumOnduty has eliminated the need for paper timesheets from temporary staff, reducing the administration burden of manually inputting these and enabling 100 percent accurate data extract to payroll.
Alison Smith continues: “Our use of the Allocate system has led to a happier medical team. Our junior doctors are now able to see their rosters and make any changes in real time, leading to a better work life balance, and our rota coordinators have a greatly reduced administration burden. Crucially, this has been achieved while delivering on the NHS’s patient safety strategy.”
The Trust’s decision to implement e-Rostering for doctors follows a successful move to Allocate e-Rostering platform across its nursing and other non-medic staff in 2014 and 2015.
The Trust is now beginning the final phase of its e-Rostering rollout with implementation of Allocate’s ActivityManager. This will allow it to use the platform to schedule any clinical activity, assigning a consultant lead and other supporting staff such as junior doctors, specialists and nurses to ensure that it is delivered to the patient with the correct team in place.
Hugh Ashley, Managing Director at Allocate UK and Ireland, said: “Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s phased rollout across nursing, support staff and now medics has allowed us to work closely with them to capture and benefit from learnings as we go. We’ve been delighted with the positive outcomes seen by the Trust across all specialties, which demonstrate once again how e-Rostering benefits patients, staff and management, helping deliver on the NHS’s long-term plan to deliver safe and sustainable healthcare.”
The Medway Trust rollout is part of a significant NHS investment into e-Rostering in healthcare as a key component of its digital strategy, with the NHS actively working to increase the proportion of its UK clinical workforce deployed via an e-Rostering system.
Allocate e-Rostering solutions are used by NHS organisations, care homes, the independent sector as well as some of the largest healthcare providers globally.