Dr Nicholas Andreou explores ways to enhance the role of technology in supporting inclusive and modern workforce deployment


When it comes to planning for the future, especially workforce planning, we strongly believe that technology has the potential to support fair, inclusive and modern workforce deployment by providing a high-quality experience for all. Here, we share three techniques to consider to deploy your NHS workforce in an equitable and transparent manner:

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1. Join a collaborative staff bank: reap the benefits of a unified workforce vision

With collaborative staff banks lies the opportunity to mobilise workforce at scale across a system and create a more open and efficient process. Bond with neighbouring trusts and align your workforce needs; look at your workforce as the region’s workforce.

Proven result:

  • Improves staff capacity to tackle waiting lists and reduces agency spend.
  • Trusts that are part of The Digital Collaborative Bank consistently benefit from 8 to 10 per cent higher shift fill rates than trusts working in silo - while also helping to tackle waiting lists.
  • Supports staff wellbeing by offering more flexibility and empowers healthcare professionals.
  • Significantly reduces the administrative burden by going digital.
  • Working collaboratively helps reduce health inequalities by supporting the whole region’s catchment area.

2. Maximise shift visibility: the secret to boosting staff engagement

The Locum’s Nest technology applies the principle of transparency which plays a vital role in rapidly deploying staff where they’re needed the most. This allows healthcare organisations to quickly identify and respond to gaps, whilst providing both full-time and flexible staff with more choice and working options.

Enabling healthcare professionals to have visibility over all the shift vacancies in their region, as well as transparency of rates of pay, is a significant factor in the retention of an engaged workforce. We have seen this impact in all implementations and more recently at Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust where each shift published receives an average of 1.4 applications. Such insight is a testament to the healthcare professionals’ willingness to cover vacancies but also puts the rota teams in the enviable position of being able to match the best doctor to the right shift.

In order to land such an advantageous scenario, it’s of paramount importance to streamline the whole recruitment and onboarding process. To allow frictionless freedom of movement for healthcare professionals, we’ve designed the digital passport technology to keep all their employment paperwork in one place, instantly identifying those who are cleared to work.

From the healthcare organisation’s side, the digital passport contains important HR and recruitment information and can be used as part of the required pre-employment checks to quickly and safely “on-board” new clinicians onto the organisation’s staff bank. Since March 2020, the digital passport technology includes covid-19 self-isolation reporting to allow healthcare organisations to better plan for increased levels of sickness during the pandemic.

3. Improve your agency cascading processes: empower agencies to engage with you fairly

Shift gaps can be filled from a variety of different sources: from the Trust’s own staff bank to a collaborative bank and of course recruitment agencies. We have designed our agency portal to ensure all applications come from licenced and qualified professionals only and by default - an important safety net that can be activated across all recruitment sources.

It is also essential to allow recruitment agencies belonging to the same tier equal chances to put forward a licenced professional. This ensures a comprehensive recruitment process while nurturing the ground for healthy competition. In effect, you allow free market forces to get you the best candidate for the best price.

As well as strong safety and equality foundations, you’ll want your technology providers to supply a platform that is both effective and easy to use for all parties involved. Straightforward, user-friendly solutions which don’t require hours of training will massively contribute to a swift and efficient recruitment pipeline so everyone involved can focus on what they do best - ensuring the right healthcare worker can be at the right place at the right time.

For more information about how our technology solution can better support the deployment of your workforce get in touch with Dr Ahmed Shahrabani at ahmed@locumsnest.co.uk

Website: www.locumsnest.co.uk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/locum’s-nest

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LocumsNest

Author: Co-Founder, Dr Nicholas Andreou’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-andreou-8102aa114/

Author: Co-Founder, Dr Nicholas Andreou’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nick_Andreou