18 NHS trusts have signed up to the latest 90-day rapid workforce improvement programme designed by Allocate, which will accelerate the roll-out and positive impact of its popular e-rostering and e-job planning software in addressing fair and effective deployment of doctors.
The launch of Collaborative Accelerator aims to share best practice in e-rostering and support customer efforts in moving up the Levels of Attainment for e-rostering and job planning. With 21 different workstreams, the activity falls into four critical staffing areas:
- the roll-out of e-rostering with junior doctor, supporting fair rostering to address burn-out and improve retention
- better management of locum shifts via LocumOnDuty, supporting a drive to reduce spend on locums and safeguard quality
- self-rostering, for doctors around work / life balance
- dynamic activity-based rostering, looking holistically at real-time allocation of people and multi-disciplinary teams based on defined patient care requirements including theatre sessions and clinics
The Allocate Collaborative Accelerator is a customer programme designed to support current NHS policy, including the Long Term Plan and the health service’s aim of improving the availability and deployment of the clinical workforce, further reducing spend on bank and agency staff.
It drives customers through key milestones to achieve pre-agreed measurable outcomes and identify marginal gains that can deliver greater and more sustainable change faster and with greater impact and staff engagement. The programme includes face-to-face meetings to share best practice ideas on how to do things better.
During the programme, each of the trusts sign up to specific objectives. The trusts in each stream work to a shared approach and goals, to help them realise their objectives and make monitoring and measuring improvement easy.
Hugh Ashley, Managing Director of Allocate UK and Ireland, said: “The NHS is rightly focused on ensuring the effective deployment of the clinical workforce to help staff deliver the best possible patient care, fairly, safely and efficiently. Through launching the Collaborative Accelerator programme, we will help to fast-track the progress of each trust and exploit the potential of what can be achieved clinically by using software effectively to solve complex workforce deployment challenges.
“By providing a framework of learning and best practice, teams can gain a fresh perspective on what they want to achieve by using the software along with its workforce data insights. Whether this is looking at how to change associated processes and working habits to ensure our software is used to its full potential, it is ultimately around helping our NHS customers deliver the best patient care.”
Western Sussex Hospital HNS Foundation Trust is moving ahead with its Junior Doctor Rostering Programme as part of the Collaborative Accelerator Programme.
“The support we’ve received from Allocate has been pivotal to the progress we’ve made with our junior doctor rostering plans since starting the Accelerator Programme earlier this year. The level of technical expertise that Allocate has provided has bolstered the team’s confidence, guiding them in the best approach with the rostering software and assuring them that they are doing things properly. This is critical when considering the safety and compliance aspects with junior doctors’ contracts and work levels. This has meant they have felt empowered to move ahead with pace and delivered our go-live of the medical rostering on time, one of our key goals of our programme with Allocate,” said Gemma Leach, Head of Workforce Systems at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Martin Elliott Chief Medical Officer at Allocate, comments: “No matter how good a technical solution is, it is the people on the shop floor who know most about what problems they face locally and how they have or need to adapt processes to meet local challenges. The Allocate Accelerator programme brings Allocate’s team together with a number of organisations all with similar ambitions for the technology. The Allocate team then guide the organisations through a defined process to meet these ambitions, it instils pace and allows users to share experiences to identify and share good practice. Working in this way helps debunks myths about what can and cannot be achieved and I am delighted to see this cohort focusing in self-rostering of doctors and activity-based rostering too.
“It works; I have seen it work and felt privileged to see great practice evolve through partnership and transparency. We all want to provide the safest and best possible patient care. Everyone I meet at the Accelerator Programme is fully committed to that and anxious not to waste time in getting improved workforce management and better staff experience to function for that purpose.”
Collaborative Accelerator is part of Allocate’s overall ‘Here to Help’ programme, which provides a number of elements that customers can take advantage of. This includes webinars, study days and the Leadership Network. For example, helping its customers understand gaps in their current activities, to meet the new NHS Improvement Standards of Attainment for e-rostering and e-job planning. It also helps provide guidance based on individual workplans and demonstrate the practical approach the campaign is designed to deliver to support customers.