QE shortlisted for presitigious national award

Posted on Wed, 26/06/2013

A SCHEME to improve the way staff can record their attendance at work has led to the QE being shortlisted for a national award.

The Health Service Journal’s Efficiency Awards look to champion innovative and cost-effective measures which reduce costs while maintaining the highest standards of patient care. The QE has been shortlisted in the workforce efficiency category thanks to a special project that aims to boost efficiency and improve work/life balance for both clinical and non-clinical staff using a special electronic solution.

Working in partnership, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust (which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital) is using SMART Workforce Management from Kronos across 3,500 staff, including managers, clinical and non-clinical staff.

The system allows all staff’s time and attendance to be recorded, alongside the implementation of e rostering for shift cover. This has saved many hours of resource, now released back to patient care.  The system has to cope with a complex range of fixed and flexible shift patterns covering acute 24-hour services, Monday-to-Friday services, and those that require extensive out-of-hours availability, including highly complex, high dependency areas such as critical care and theatre units.

Before introducing SMART, the Trust relied on paper-based processes to record staff hours, manage sickness, absence requests, and administer a variety of shifts.  This approach was labour intensive, duplicated effort, lacked an audit trail and did not connect to the organisation’s central ESR and payroll systems. 

The new system has also helped the Trust to make 20% efficiency savings by 2015 to meet Government targets, while maintaining quality of care.  Introducing workforce management systems with biometric handreaders for all 3,500 staff has helped the Trust to achieve this.

Getting staff to clock in and out ensures hours worked were recorded accurately, enabling timesheets to be completed automatically and information feeds directly in to the payroll systems.  This releases valuable time back to patient care for staff and managers, any inaccuracies or discrepancies are identified and captured quickly, helping managers to act swiftly and avoid payroll errors.  

Streamlining management of holidays, absence and time-off in lieu balances helps to avoid gaps in shifts resulting in use of temporary staff.  E-rostering ensures the correct skills mix for every shift, safeguarding patient care.  The flexibility and accessibility of the system ensures staff would be able to see in advance which shifts they will be working, make requests, and would help them to achieve work/life balance. 

The project has delivered cost savings of £1.1m, meeting the Trusts original aims, and is expected to help achieve further ongoing savings due to the efficient use of staff resources. Less time is spent on administration and accurate recording of hours means more accurate payroll calculations.   Over the course of the project, GHNFT has reached a stage where the system has delivered a return on investment, whereby the software has paid for itself. 

Tracey Preece, Deputy Director of Finance at the QE, said: “We were delighted to have been shortlisted for such a highly prestigious award and now look forward to going through the judging process. SMART really has made a difference to the way in which we can ensure that our staff are working the right hours, being rewarded properly when they work more than their allocated hours and most importantly, that we can quickly and easily ensure we have the right amount of cover on our wards and departments to ensure we can deliver high quality, safe care to our patients.”

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can change this and find out more by following this link.
Accept Cookies