Posted on October 4, 2017 by staff

Tech firm helps ambulance service improve patient care


Working Time Solutions has helped South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) complete a successful roster review.

The changes implemented will improve patient care, support employee wellbeing and has the potential to generate significant savings within overrun budgets.

The project has modernised working patterns for around 2,500 front-line employees to better align resources with changes in demand created by NHS England’s ‘Ambulance Response Programme’ (ARP).

The new national performance standards, which SWASFT helped successfully pilot, prioritise the sickest patients to ensure they receive the fastest response.

Using its WORK Suite® software, specialist consultancy and employee engagement methodology, Working Time Solutions helped SWASFT create new demand-led rosters which ensure the appropriate people and vehicles are in the correct location, at the right time.

Through more precise deployment of resources, the project has helped SWASFT improve patient care with more crews are available to respond to emergency calls and improved response times.

The new rosters have also helped limit overworking and stress by reducing utilisation rates and cutting shift overruns by an average of 25 minutes per shift.

In addition to improving work-life balance for employees through more predictable finish times, early-stage analysis shows the reduction in overruns has the potential to generate significant savings within overrun budgets.

SWASFT’s responsibilities extend over 10,000 square miles (20 per cent of mainland England), an area that has a population of 5.3 million and attracts over 17.5 million visitors every year.

The Trust has 4,000 employees across 96 stations and operates over 600 vehicles.

Neil Le Chevalier, director of operations at SWASFT, said: “Resourcing lies at the heart of many strategic issues ambulance services face.

“Modernising our working patterns was vital to help us meet expectations around patient care, value for money, employee wellbeing and productivity.

“The project has delivered a broad range of significant and sustainable benefits across these areas and we now also have the capability to continuously refine our rosters in line with changes to demand.

“Working Time Solutions was central to the success of the roster review.

“They worked seamlessly with our HR and Operations teams, providing the software tools and knowledge we need to optimise our rosters now and in the future.”

Robert Crossman, director of Working Time Solutions, said: “Given the challenges posed by major roster reviews, it was absolutely vital that employees were placed at the heart of the process.

“By engaging them around the need for change, the impact on them personally and the options that were available, we ensured they were able to directly influence and enhance the patterns.

“Using software to facilitate co-design, employees could visualise demand requirements and used their experience and insight to create solutions that deliver the best outcomes for all stakeholders.”

Established in 1994, Working Time Solutions specialise in workforce planning and management software for shift working environments.

The business has helped organisations deliver well over £100 million in efficiencies whilst supporting the creation of full-time roles by reducing the need for overtime, agency staff and zero hours contracts.

By blending software capabilities and specialist insight, it enables organisations to design, implement and manage flexible shift patterns and rosters that dramatically improve productivity, enhance service levels and support employee wellbeing.

The company’s diverse client base spans a range of industries, including emergency services, where they have undertaken roster reviews for organisations such as London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.