By James Foxlee - 29th Nov 2019
Read time - 5 minutes
How emerging technology in Workforce Deployment and Staff Bank can help NHS employers get a quick win.
The margins between running a successful Trust and one that is failing are both thin and often elusive. A whole raft of variables, some you can control, some you cannot determine success or failure from population demographics to staff morale and engagement.
Getting on the front foot
One thing that most agree on is that if you get ‘on the back foot’ with the various regulatory authorities, getting ‘on the front foot’ again can be tricky and daunting. One of the best things you can do is to consider where the quick wins are, the ‘low hanging fruit’. Turning around a function 180 degrees in a short space of time is noticed and approved of by the regulatory authorities. However, what function do you choose and what resources will required? This decision in itself can feel like putting your money on the spin of a roulette table.
Fortunately, there are some areas you can get rapid and very impressive results. One of those is in your temporary workforce spend, compliance and agency over-reliance. Efficient use of temporary and flexible resources is absolutely critical. This means balancing your Staff Bank and Agency or Locum use but this inevitably requires a technology solution.
Managing all the complexities of managing a temporary workforce can quickly turn into a ‘cottage industry’ due to the time intensive nature of not only enabling but also managing the paperwork to meet CQC auditing requirements. The problem is further compounded when you have multiple sites across a geographic location.
However, with the advent of ‘agile development’ techniques and mobile, cloud based technology implementation needn't be a headache and is a lot more affordable than you might think.
Latest technology and implementation management techniques
So how do you get rapid 180 degree change in Flexible Resourcing? The answer lies in using the latest technology and implementation management techniques and to apply them following some ground rules.
The Circular Wave Staff Bank platform is a real time smartphone based cloud app that gives employers and staff micro control over their flexible working requirements whilst automating the various tasks that cost money and are prone to regulatory compliance error.
In April 2018 we implemented our platform into a large and demographically varied acute trust in the North East of England to turn around their medical bank flexible resourcing. Tasked with a Staff Bank fill rate of 30% in six months (from an existing fill rate of under 1%) the platform was implemented and by mid May 2018 the fill rate hit 65%.
Furthermore, the agency spend was cut by nearly 50% over the first year of operation. Now there were some other factors involved in that spending cut, but the platform was a major contributor.
180 degree turnaround
The results raised the eyebrows at NHS Improvement. Firstly, compliance was commended, at any one moment in time, the Trust knew that its medical overspill shifts were being worked by the right doctors with the right skills and that such was being automatically recorded fo audit. Secondly, the growth of a Staff Bank from a less than 1% fill rate to a 65% fill rate in under two months was, according to NHSI a ‘180 degree turnaround’ and the trust became not only a regional example of best practice and cost control for Flexible medical resources but a national one.
Paying for it? It’s a lot more affordable than you might think and could also be funded from existing budgets. For example most existing Staff Banks, either manual or digital, rely on SMS messaging to connect with employees. In a large acute trust this can run to £20,000 per month or more in SMS charges. The Circular Wave platform uses internet messaging to contact employees, not only does this allow relevant, targeted and specific data to be sent, but there is no charge for an internet message. Move your bank onto our platform and just one of the benefits is that you can use your SMS comms budget to more than cover the cost.
If you would like some more information about how our platform could give you a very quick but significant win on the road to improvement, then please get in touch.
CEO - Circular Wave
For all enquiries or to request a demo contact [email protected]