Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust commissioned Patchwork to deploy a purpose-built electronic rota management platform, which improved roster management, staff satisfaction and reduced agency reliance.
What the organisation faced
The roll out of a previous rostering system at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust was receiving criticism from and creating challenges for the rostering team using the system. A number of real frustrations were also raised by the trust’s junior doctors, with many describing being double booked for shifts and not being sent rosters with enough notice. As a result, a number of junior doctors left the organisation during this time due to the system’s impact on their work. This led to a much higher agency spend during this period, causing financial pressure and quality concerns for the medicine division.
These concerns were escalated to the operational directors at the hospital, and the trust decided to change the rostering system, which involved undergoing a process of meeting with and assessing a number of potential providers. During the tendering process, they met with Patchwork, who delivered a purpose-built electronic rota management platform as part of an end-to-end workforce solution.
During the initial process, the trust communicated that doctors wanted to use an app to check their roster, book leave and plan their leave in advance with more timely rosters. The rostering teams also highlighted that the system needed to be user-friendly; be able to adhere to compliance rules; and provide key insights and data to drive decision-making. In line with these requirements, Patchwork demonstrated the rostering system and the trust agreed to run an initial pilot in the medicine division.
In May 2023, the trust asked Patchwork to deliver the rota system for the August rotation of junior doctors, which would mean going live within three weeks, to allow six weeks’ notice for their shift pattern.
The trust has been able to build internal capacity within the rostering and medical workforce teams so they could build, populate, and manage rosters. The collaboration between Patchwork and the trust meant that the two teams were able to effectively share communications to the relevant doctors about the new rostering app, which increased uptake within the medicine division.
The chief operating officer at the trust, notes that ‘junior doctors who were rightly frustrated are far more satisfied with the new roster. The trust is also already seeing a big impact on reducing agency spend and improved cover in key clinical areas. The Patchwork team has consistently engaged with our team to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.’
After seeing improvements in roster management, staff satisfaction and a reduction in agency spend in the medical division, the trust is now looking at launching the rostering system across additional departments, and has already rolled out Patchwork’s Bank app.
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