Wellbeing to recruitment: how tech will transform the NHS People Plan

Can technology innovate how we care for our NHS workers? And how will digital play its part in the ongoing demand for faster, more efficient solutions?

Since the coronavirus outbreak, the NHS has recognised the need for modernised ways of relieving the many pressures our doctors and nurses face, implementing a higher than ever investment in health tech. With the introduction of the NHS People Plan, our new report looks at how technology will drive better employee care and the digital solutions that could revolutionise how we support our healthcare heroes.


The two tech innovators offering NHS staff financial stability 

Wagestream and Earnd are just two of the organisations who stepped forward to support the NHS during the Covid-19 outbreak. The financial platforms offered their services free of charge to ease financial anxiety for thousands of healthcare workers.

Seven NHS trusts are currently working with financial app, Earnd, which allows staff increased flexibility for accessing their pay. NHS workers can withdraw earnings immediately after their shift - bolstering staff morale at a time where cash flow can be limited.

A similar service is in place within three further NHS trusts, provided by Wagestream. The digital payment solution has fast tracked implementation from three weeks to just 24 hours, providing workers with unlimited access to withdrawing their wages during the month.

“We’ve all got to do our bit during this crisis, and we find ourselves able to provide NHS workers and employers with a service that is a uniquely invaluable weapon right now. Everybody faces unbearable uncertainty at the moment and this misery will be compounded by unexpected expenses. We’re waiving all fees to ensure these vital workers can get at their pay when they need it.” - Peter Briffett, Wagestream Chief Executive and Founder

 

Manual administration is on the decline due to three tech solutions

Testing, symptom checking and ongoing paperwork were already a time consuming necessity. Now these tasks play an even more major part of a healthcare worker’s role as we continue to fight the virus.

Real time data sharing is a necessary solution. Quicker, simpler access to patient medical information can be understood and processed more clearly, ultimately leading to an improved quality of care.

Whilst there is still a long way to go before interoperable systems are widespread within the NHS, there are three innovative solutions saving our doctors precious time:

  • Empela is a hands-free technology platform that allows clinicians to spend ‘more time talking and less time typing’. Physicians can communicate with patients more effectively, giving them a few more hours in the day to meet the demands of their role.
  • Thalamos reduces the need for continuous paperwork by digitally storing statutory forms such as the Mental Health Act. Documents can be securely edited and shared with colleagues, helping to reduce both time and errors.
  • Rotageek, an e-rostering solution, guarantees efficiency and caters for flexible working with automatic staff scheduling. Compliant rosters can be created in a few clicks whilst remaining adaptable to match labour with patient needs. 

Apps will solve the NHS’s struggle to attract and retain talent

The NHS’s new generation of doctors have grown up using digital platforms. Slack, Snapchat and cloud sharing apps are a part of daily life for most millennials and Generation Z - and they are expected in the workplace.

Thankfully, innovations don’t have to be complicated. 

96% of junior doctors would feel more comfortable treating patients if they could access medical resources and information on their smartphones. By implementing app-based clinical communication, doctors can save hours of crucial time and speed up their delivery of care.

When it comes to the recruitment process, The Hire Lab is an innovative application that maximises interaction with potential candidates whilst reducing the dropout rate. Its automated, streamlined design engages hiring managers, ensuring faster recruitment whilst delivering a personalised experience to every applicant.

These innovations serve to streamline job efficiency. But they also bolster morale, eradicating major stresses that are the causes for many doctors who leave the NHS for a better work-life balance.

Mandatory remote working sheds light on the benefits of flexibility

Like the majority of organisations, flexible working increased significantly for the NHS during the nationwide lockdown, leading to simplified meetings and increased productivity. The result of such has seen flexibility become a mandatory part of NHS employment from 2021.

Introducing such schemes into complex working environments, such as our healthcare service, requires a greater understanding of forecasting and accurate scheduling. But with data-driven software comes a smart, automatic approach to complicated rostering.

Various solutions are revolutionising how the NHS handles schedule creation. 

Rotageek’s AI-driven engine predicts accurate labour demand using historical data, event trends and individual requirements to immediately produce optimised schedules. Reducing brain drain and a prior lack of flexibility, our solution provides better control over our doctor’s work-life balance. 

Through an integration with Rotageek’s scheduling software, platforms such as Locum’s Nest are also making flexible working patterns easier for NHS staff, permitting simpler bank staff allocation as a part of the rostering process. This particularly suits the high number of people with caring responsibilities - which has increased since COVID-19.

What’s next for the future of health tech?

The tech solutions currently in place are the first step in an exciting new chapter of healthcare history. Covid-19 acted as a force for digital innovation but this is only the beginning for the NHS’s new momentum for change. 

As the threat of the virus begins to reduce, the focus on health tech only rises. Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive of NHS Digital, comments “It has shown how powerful we really are... these things are here to stay.” 

Read more about the various digital game changers innovating our National Health Service by downloading our paper: How Technology Can Support the NHS People Plan.

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