The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced an investment of £7.5 million to support digital shift scheduling in England’s NHS.
It is allocating the money among 38 trusts as part of a £26 million programme to get all clinical staff on e-rostering systems by the end of this year.
The size of the allocations ranges from a minimum of £62,000 to the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust to medical rostering for doctors, to a high of £618,000 to the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Found Trust for a community workforce deployment system for nurses and allied health professionals.
The full list includes general acute, specialist, mental health and community trusts.
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.”
DHSC said e-restoring has provided valuable support to the NHS in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, prompting trusts to implement the technology. It pointed to a 2018 study by Newton Europe Consultancy that found that scheduling solutions save up to 10% of travel time per week for clinicians, and route planning and geographic matching of clinical resource and demand could provide travel savings of 20% and 30% respectively.
It added that five of the trusts will also use the relevant software to schedule patient appointments.
Image from iStock, Brian A Jackson