Patchwork Health is today introducing ‘Outcomes-Based Staffing’ - the paradigm shift set to transform healthcare staffing, made possible by the launch of a new rostering solution.

Sponsored byLogo - Patchwork

Our health and care workforce is under immense strain. Despite heroic efforts - from both workers and employers - the culmination of years of pressure, combined with the intense stresses generated by COVID-19, has created unsustainable working realities. As this month’s NHS Staff Survey highlighted, scores are at breaking point; with one in five considering leaving the sector for good.

Across the NHS, stakeholders are in agreement; we need a new approach.

Current staffing models are no longer fit for purpose. Nor are services or software solutions that tinker around the edges of the issue. We need bigger, bolder and more impactful answers that genuinely solve this most perilous of problems; solutions which tackle the big challenges whilst also addressing day-to-day operational pain points.

The answer? Outcomes-Based Staffing.

Just as the NHS has steadily embraced an outcomes-based approach to patient care, now is the time to expand that approach to staffing. To achieve this, Patchwork Health is charting a new way forward.

Our Outcomes-Based Staffing approach creates workforce systems where everyone’s objectives - from the individual through to the organisational - can be achieved simultaneously. This creates bank and rostering models where workers can be treated like individuals, rather than names on a spreadsheet, with their preferences prioritised accordingly. And where managers can plan for the workforce outcomes they need, instead of being forced to retrofit what they currently have.

The tools we need to achieve this

To make this transformation to outcomes-based staffing a reality, we’ve developed a suite of technology solutions and services to cover end-to-end workforce management staffing needs, including a new outcomes-based staffing rostering solution. These systems and solutions are rolled out in partnership with trusts, not simply parachuted in.

Outcomes-Based Staffing solutions are based on five core principles

We’ve developed the foundations of Outcomes-Based Staffing through our partnerships with over 60 NHS organisations over the last five years. Through these collaborations, we’ve shaped the core principles on which this new workforce model, and the solutions enabling it, are built. They are: 

  1. Multi-organisational: The tools we use today create silos between employers. If we are to truly move towards regional and ICS-wide workforce planning over the next decade, we need systems which can overcome these barriers. Patchwork’s scheduling solutions enable new models of care through multi-employer workforce-planning, underpinned by collaborative rostering design and sharing capabilities across a myriad of organisations and services. This would, for example, enable an oncologist to be rostered across a range of clinical sites, allowing them to bring their care to wherever the patient is undergoing treatment, rather than see patients boomerang between sites.
  2. Worker-centric: The NHS is facing a retention crisis. Staff are leaving in historically high numbers, many fed up with having no say over how or when they work. We need to introduce greater flexibility for workers whilst still providing predictability and control for the employer. Through Patchwork’s solution, we optimise rostering for the best possible fill rates whilst also accounting for worker preferences. This worker-centricity improves wellbeing, drives up retention, and improves patient care, all whilst protecting employer control over their workforce systems.
  3. Demand-driven: Current tools within the NHS are forcing employers to create rosters based on the resources they have, rather than the resources they need. To break this cycle, we are introducing demand-driven rota design. Employers can assess which clinicians and skills they require and adjust their systems and planning accordingly, thereby keeping up with the ever shifting needs of rostering. This allows employers to agree the right number of clinicians and staff services accordingly, increase recruitment, or consider new models of care.
  4. Skills-based: As it stands, our workforce challenges are compounded by the restrictions of role-based rostering tools. We need skills-based rostering instead. This will allow the person with the right skills to do the job - rather than keeping the skills of doctors or nurses confined by their titles. For example, empowering non-medics to take on new responsibilities would transform how we could safely staff an ITU department. This might involve creating nurse anaesthetist roles (as exist in other healthcare markets), or enabling Operating Department Practitioners to provide intubation services in a COVID-19 unit, for example. Focusing on skills rather than roles provides more flexibility and agility, allowing us to create a more resilient workforce. Our systems create the framework in which this can happen.
  5. Service-centric: All too often in the NHS, organisations purchase licences for new technology and then are left to grapple with it themselves. This isn’t good enough. We know rostering is an ever-changing journey and that’s why we operate in partnership with organisations - providing hands-on implementation, continued optimisation, configuration, and bespoke reporting throughout and after go-live. This ensures teams are never left to solve problems on their own, but we work together to achieve the desired outcomes.

We’re marking a step change in how NHS trusts and healthcare organisations manage their workforce and support their staff. The last year has shown us the power of the NHS when it’s allowed to truly collaborate. Now it’s time to harness that energy and create collaborative, flexible and human-centric systems that focus on outcomes in order to allow our healthcare workers and employers to lead thriving, rewarding careers and deliver the best possible patient care.

Join the trusts helping us shape the future of healthcare staffing

There are just 3 out of 10 places remaining on the sector-leading Patchwork Rostering Accelerator. Participating NHS trusts are offered the chance to shape the future of healthcare, and are eligible to access Patchwork’s new rostering solution on attractive commercial terms, including free use periods and waiving all implementation fees.

Find out more or get in touch at

HSJ Partners logo

This is paid-for content from our commercial partners. Find out more