We are delighted to announce that Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals won a national award at the Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) Excellence Awards, held on 7th June 2018, in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) careers category for Working Smarter. These awards recognise and reward outstanding work in healthcare human resource management.
We won the award for our radical approach to reducing our reliance on expensive medical agencies and dramatically improving the systems for utilising medical bank staff. Achievements were made through improved governance with the introduction of the Medical Workforce Strategy & Scrutiny group led by our Medical Director, through senior medical leaders taking personal accountability for medical staffing spend, and challenging the status quo in a positive way.
At the same time we implemented a new digital solution called Locums Nest, which was designed by two junior doctors at a neighbouring Trust, who were frustrated with the bank booking systems they had encountered in the NHS. We became an early adopter of this technology, three months after it had been initially piloted, and have helped to further develop the system to reflect the joint needs of the Trust, its users and the system developers.
The changes brought about as a result of this revised approach include:
- Significantly improved ability to deploy our own resources consistently to fill the gaps, using staff who are familiar with our organisation, workforce and patient population.
- Radical increase in percentage of bank shifts booked - bank usage of 112 per month in April 2017 to 943 per month in March 2018, with almost 700 doctors registered on the bank.
- Reduction in overall expenditure, with an increased fill rate. In 2017/18 Agency spend reduced by £3.2m, and whilst Bank spend increased by £1.6m, there has been a net saving of £1.64m.
- More efficient deployment of HR, rota coordinator, and service manager resources with all shifts completed through the app generating digital time sheets, eliminating the need for paper time sheets and making Payroll arrangements easier.
- Eradicating the need for our medical colleagues to complete paper timesheets and chase payment for bank work for months on end.
Locum's Nest has also facilitated the establishment of a collaborative Staff Bank with Royal Surrey County Hospital - giving each Trust open access to doctors who are members of each other's Staff Bank. This has effectively doubled our available pool of doctors enabling staff across both organisations to cross-cover. In 17/18, there have been 318 collaborative shifts worked and in May the collaborative bank was extended to include Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Salisbury Foundation Trust.
Louise McKenzie, Director of Workforce Transformation said, "I am over the moon that we have won this prestigious national award. It is a brilliant example of what we can achieve when we collaborate as colleagues, and with our neighboring Trusts. It really is a collaborative effort across a number of teams at the Trust - Workforce & Organisational Development, Finance, Medical Director's office and with our divisional teams - whom all worked hard to produce this amazing result. It is also great to get recognition from my workforce peers with the judges commending us for 'Outstanding improvement in patient care and finance, achieved in this project, through cultural change and collaboration'."
Pictured above from L to R: Director of Finance and Information - Simon Marshall, Director of Operations for Urgent and Emergency Care - Tom Smerdon, Director of Workforce Transformation - Louise McKenzie, Medical Director - Dr David Fluck and Director of Operations for Planned Care and Diagnostics - James Thomas.