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Many NHS organisations are facing significant demand pressure since the New Year bank holiday, as outlined in our email sent on the 20th December we are committed to supporting our customers through the most challenging operational quarter of the year.

We are aware that many organisations are managing increased demand coupled with staff sickness and that many are under immense pressure to source extra hours of work from available skilled staff.

While we are unable to provide extra staff, we do want to ensure all customers are aware that you can use aspects of your existing software to help you identify and communicate with staff who may be able to work.

Your software can help you identify staff that may be able to work clinical duties. In addition you have a number of ways to target communications about your unfilled duties to your temporary staffing workforce using our system.

Five ideas that might help over the coming days and weeks

1. Within HealthRoster a report of those staff marked as ‘unavailable’ can be run. ‘Unavailability’ can include study leave and working days, both of which could be reviewed to see whether the activity is deemed to be essential or whether staff can be diverted from these activities back into the clinical workforce.

2. It is also possible to run a report of Staff Hours which will show whether you have staff that haven’t been scheduled to work their full contracted hours. There can be a number of reasons as to why this may be, but this report will highlight where staff have accrued unused hours who could have further clinical shifts assigned.

3. Many of you have SMS as part of your solution and all customers have email notifications in HealthRoster. The use of the BankStaff SMS and email functionality can support increased communications with your temporary workforce to help fill bank and agency duties. By using targeted SMS and emails, you can communicate the requirements to specific staff groups or grades and direct them to the EmployeeOnLine system to direct book themselves into bank duties or contact the Bank Office to be booked in.

4. There is also functionality within the BankStaff system to target bank workers based on the grade, skills and availability to work. This allows for the Bank Office to prioritise who they call or SMS based on the bank workers meeting the relevant criteria and increasing the likelihood of speaking with a bank worker who is available to work.

5. Most customer have SafeCare. If you are using this operationally you can use it to identify opportunities to redeploy staff as safely as possible so that you have staff in areas most in need. On the 28th December we saw a very big spike in customers using SafeCare for this purpose. If your trust has SafeCare and isn’t doing this today this may provide an opportunity. It will also provide operational visibility at this difficult time.

We appreciate these ideas may only make a small difference and not all will be right for all organisations.

Our aim is to ensure you are aware and able to use existing software features to help with the current challenges. To that end, if you or your team need support with any of the options above or you have any other questions please email [email protected] or call 0844 4179510.

Our team is on hand to do all we can.