2,000 nurses using app to book shifts across SW London

An innovative workforce model pioneered by three trusts in the South West London Collaborative has created a regional bank of nurses.

There are plans to extend the technology to all staff groups in line with the South West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) workforce plan to establish a sustainable workforce for the next five years.

The nurse bank, powered by Cloudstaff and the Me app, has for the first time brought together three organisations that would have previously competed for nurses.

Allocate has worked with the trusts linking together multiple workforce systems with CloudStaff to provide robust assurance regarding availability, skills and compliance with staffing rules. The regional bank now benefits from efficient filling of available shifts helping to improve shift fill rates, reduce the reliance upon agency workers and increase staff retention. The estimated annual saving through reduced agency use is £400,000 which the Collaborative plans to realise in two years.

The innovative model works across healthcare boundaries and over 2,000 nurses working for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and Kingston Hospital NHS FT are now using the Me app. They are using the app to check substantive shifts and book into temporary shifts via their phone and tablets, giving them greater flexibility in their working lives.

Project manager Chris Goulding says staff now have a greater opportunity for a better work-life balance as they can see their substantive shifts and book into temporary shifts across the whole region on their phone and tablets. “This is the first NHS staff-sharing platform of its kind integrating rostering and bank to provide visibility of working patterns across a region. The partnership with Allocate was central to the development and drive of the South West London Collaborative,” he says.

Hugh Ashley, managing director, Allocate Software said: “This pioneering project helps to address the challenges that many trusts are facing in trying to reduce agency spend. The uptake of the Me app amongst nursing staff is testament to the hard work that has gone into developing an innovative cross-boundary workforce solution in partnership with the South West London Collaborative.”