The UK Government has announced a £7.5m funding package to support digital shift scheduling across 38 NHS trusts.
The investment is part of a £26m national fund to have all NHS doctors, nurses and other clinical staff on e-rostering systems by 2021.
E-rostering allows clinicians to select shifts digitally, designed to provide them with more flexibility and more efficient work schedules. Specific skill sets can more easily be matched to the right shifts when redeploying staff using digital staff passports.
The passports are currently being piloted and provide a verified record of identity, employment and training on their smartphone.
Minister of state for care Helen Whately said: “People are at the heart of the NHS. Our doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are the greatest asset we have.
“Managing shifts more effectively also makes it easier to work flexibly, giving our hardworking clinicians a better work/life balance. I’m pleased even more trusts will now benefit thanks to this £7.5m funding boost.”
The trusts benefiting from this latest funding include mental health and community, specialist and general acute trusts.
Five NHS trusts will be using the software to also schedule patient appointments.
The £26m national rollout to 68 trusts in total is part of the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to equip all shifts for doctors, nurses, Allied Health Professionals, health scientists and pharmacists with e-rostering systems by the end of 2021.
Anna Stabler, executive chief nurse at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The funding will be utilised to deliver electronic rostering and case management systems that will in turn benefit our staff and patients alike.
“It will mean our staff can support patients in a more timely manner, whilst reducing their travel time and improving their working arrangements. We’re very much looking forward to getting this piece of work underway.”