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£200,000 funding for new digital shift scheduling system 

Patients and staff will benefit from a new £200,000 digital shift scheduling system thanks to funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The money will save time and effort for staff at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) and will enable them to spend more hours with patients.

An integrated scheduling system uses staff rostering and skills to ensure patients get the right person at the right place at the right time. It enables staff to focus on quality care, timeliness and efficiency of visits, reducing cancellations/missed visits. It increases productivity and enables staff to spend more time with patients by reducing scheduling administration. The benefits for staff include less absences and less staff working over their contracted hours.

Helen Turner, head of nursing for the community and therapy division, said: “These types of systems make our allocation of patient visits much easier and enables more time with our patients. This will be really positive to nurses and other healthcare staff because it provides accurate information about allocated work, reduces the time nurses spend allocating visits, supports agile working and increases visibility of capacity and demand.

“The scheduling system will optimise and coordinate visits for all community staff and will reduce the amount of time senior nursing staff spend allocating visits. It will increase productivity, efficiency and patient-facing time.

“The division will have visibility of capacity and demand on a daily basis that is real time, allowing for confident re-allocation of visits and unplanned activity. Linking the scheduling system with electronic rostering will enable measurement of utilisation, productivity and efficiency.”

The Malinko system will:

  • Maximise productivity of the Trust’s staffing resource by providing accurate information about allocated work so that work can be re-allocated when urgent situations arise (e.g. when staff report in sick or the escalation level rises), and to allocate unplanned work as it arises throughout the day
  • Reduce the time qualified nurses spend manually allocating visits to staff ledgers
  • Support agile working and offer the opportunity for staff to operate in community locations without needing to return to base to review allocated visits and pick up urgent, unplanned visits. This provides an important opportunity to increase productivity without increasing staff and travel costs
  • Improve visibility of capacity and demand so that the Trust can effectively contribute to operational pressures/escalation across the system by re-deploying staff capacity.

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