NHS staff at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust will benefit from a greater freedom to choose which shifts they work, where they work them and quicker pay, as part of a revolutionary trial of new technology.
The trusts will use their pilot, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, to roll out an innovative mobile app developed by their own medics that matches empty shifts to an individual’s skills and availability. An initial trial of ‘LocumTap’ has proved so popular that both substantive and agency medics have signed up to work flexibly in this way.
There will be 15 trials across England, delivering on a commitment from Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt last year to support flexible working and help NHS staff balance their work/life commitments.
Minister of State for Health Stephen Barclay said: “A modern NHS needs modern ways of working – and that means giving our dedicated staff more of a choice over how, when and where they want to work, and ensuring they have the right work/life balance.
“This revolutionary trial at London North West Healthcare and Chelsea and Westminster is therefore a win-win for everyone, and will not only help staff provide more consistent care for patients, but also give our staff the flexibility they want in choosing their working patterns whilst helping the NHS reduce its reliance on expensive agency staff.”
The trials will allow staff to use apps on their mobile phones to book shifts, and to receive instant notifications when a shift becomes available, allowing them to be booked instantly.
A spokesperson from London North West University Hospital NHS Trust said: “London North West University Hospital NHS Trust is delighted to have been selected as one of the DHSC’s national bank flexible working pilots. Our staff banks are a valued and integral part of our workforce and we continue to invest in their development and growth. The use of the Locum Tap app will improve the overall experience for staff joining and working with the Trust’s staff bank by making it simpler and easier to join, and enabling staff to better match the shifts they want to work around their availability, preferences and personal life.”