Helen Whatley, minister for Care, announced that £7.5 million will be used across 38 NHS trusts including clinics, hospitals and pharmacies to support digital shift scheduling which will allow staff to spend more time with patients.
E-rostering systems are invaluable during the pandemic, so as part of the £26 million national fund to have all NHS staff using e-rostering by 2021, the £7.5 million will enable this across the 38 NHS trusts.
Clinicians will be saved time every week, as the e-rostering system will save time and effort by managing workhours and pay. The system will help to digitally match staff skillset with patient care requirements and geography as well as redeploying staff as needed.
E-rostering has proved to be vital during the pandemic when reporting absences, redeploying staff and managing working hours and pay information. Due to the many benefits of the e-rostering systems, NHS trust have noted that there is an increased desire to implement e-rostering among clinicians.
Clinicians can select shifts digitally with e-rostering which provides them with more efficient work schedules and flexibility. Using digital staff passports, staff can be matched to the right shifts according to their specific skillsets.
There is currently a pilot underway for the passports which will save staff and HR time and effort. The passports will include verified identity records, training history and employment right on their cellphones. The passports have already been used during the COVID-19 response and have helped in redeploying staff quickly to areas in need.
A study conducted in 2018 concluded that caseload sharing (one of the functions of e-rostering), could save hundreds of hours per trust as it plans the best routes between healthcare settings and patients’ homes. NHS staff can spend more time with patients as there will be less time spent travelling.
Minister of State for Care Helen Whately said:
“People are at the heart of the NHS. Our doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are the greatest asset we have. I’m determined to help NHS trusts get the best out of our talented healthcare workers and give patients the care they deserve.
“We’re delivering on another commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to support the use of electronic rosters. E-rostering is a crucial tool to make the most of our dedicated healthcare professionals’ time for looking after patients – something which is needed more than ever during this pandemic.
“Managing shifts more effectively also makes it easier to work flexibly, giving our hardworking clinicians a better work/life balance. I’m pleased even more trusts will now benefit thanks to this £7.5 million funding boost.
I’m excited to see how this technology can be implemented in the future, not just in hospitals and pharmacies, but in social care too – making sure everyone gets the right care at the right time.”
Mental health and community, general acute and specialist trusts will be benefitting. The NHS will also be able to cut costs by spending less time on staffing agencies. Five NHS trusts will schedule patient appointments with the software.
Anna Stabler, Executive Chief Nurse at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
We’re delighted to have been awarded this funding to help us develop a community workforce deployment system for our nurses and Allied Health Care Professionals working in the community. The funding will be utilised to deliver electronic rostering and case management systems that will in turn benefit our staff and patients alike.
“It will mean our staff can support patients in a more timely manner, whilst reducing their travel time and improve their working arrangements. We’re very much looking forward to getting this piece of work underway.”