Wider NHS to benefit from a streamlining programme that has saved London millions


04 / 6 / 2014 2.36pm


A programme that has saved the NHS in London millions of pounds and improved services is being rolled out throughout England with a package of supporting resources, was showcased today (4 June) at the NHS Confederation Annual Conference.


The ‘Streamlining Programme’ is a collaboration between NHS Employers, HR for London and Skills for Health that has helped staff to transfer, relocate and be trained efficiently across 39 pilot trusts in London.


Now NHS Employers and its partners are expanding the programme throughout England, supporting and encouraging NHS organisations to compare performance, share good practice, overcome issues and work collectively to streamline their staff-related processes taking advantage of technology and enhanced working relationships.


The tried-and-tested tools developed in those London pilot areas are now available, without charge, on both the NHS Employers website and the Skills for Health website. They include:


·         Resources for streamlining junior doctors' rotations. Information is being provided to help organisations replicate an interface between The London Deanery’s Empower system and Electronic Staff Record (ESR), which increased efficiency in the transfer of junior doctors between trusts. Over 10,000 junior doctor rotations each year are now created automatically in ESR, which means no more manual re-entering of rotation data or human errors. It is estimated that 1,700 staff hours of data entry has been saved each year. During 2013, 94 per cent of transfers were automated, allowing trusts to access accurate, timely information about which junior doctor was coming to their trust.

·         Resources for streamlining employment checks. NHS Employers has helped make Employment Check Standards more robust across the country and this is supported in the toolkit. The first trusts that have been through the improvements are claiming a six week reduction in time to hire, resulting in reduced spending on agency staff to fill posts. Evidence shows that standards are rapidly rising in other trusts that are adopting the process and their time-to-hire and agency spend are falling.

·         Resources for streamlining statutory and mandatory (StatMan) training. Adoption of minimum standards and e-learning provided by Skills for Health has helped pilot trusts review which staff complete which training, the training frequency, the training duration and the method of delivery. This has resulted in considerable readjustment, huge time savings and compliance improvements. A detailed review has reduced duplication and saved over 192,000 staff hours of training, equivalent to £5 million per annum - resulting in better training, less staff time spent on it and more time with patients. The new resources will support other organisations to do likewise.

·         Advice and guidance from London HR directors about setting up programmes in new regions.


Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:


"This is true partnership working and its benefits to the health service, its staff and patients are clear. Technology makes it easy to communicate good practice throughout the country but that would mean little without these strong NHS relationships which fuel good ideas and a desire to share them. NHS Employers and our partners are pleased to keep supporting the process and we have no doubt this toolkit will be used widely."


John Rogers, chief executive of Skills for Health, said:


“We’re delighted to have been involved in this progressive collaboration to help improve services and drive cost efficiencies in the NHS in London. It’s particularly rewarding to see the tangible benefits of the Streamlining Programme in the pilot phase and we really look forward to seeing how further trusts will benefit from this expansion of the project.


“The importance of investing in staff training to improve the care delivered in the NHS has been widely recognised of late. In addition to this, Skills for Health input into the Streamlining Programme has emphasised the need for robust resources to support trusts to effectively manage training and skills development. Enabling a wider pool of trusts to benefit from the programme will inevitably lead to further significant time and cost savings and compliance improvements.”


The West Midlands HR Directors Network is one of various groups already taking steps to adopt the new resources. Roger Smith, Interim Chair of the Network and Director of HR at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to take what has been successfully implemented in London and explore its transferability to the West Midlands trusts. Using lessons learned from London we hope to be able to make some quick wins in the West Midlands that will ensure that all of our trusts will enjoy the benefits. Employers, staff and HR teams all have something to gain from streamlining and the efficiency gains in themselves will provide all round benefit for the West Midlands’ health economy at a time when we are all looking for ways of improving the services that we provide.”


Saroj Patel is Director of Workforce, IM&T and Corporate Affairs at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, which is one of the pilot organisations. Ms Patel said:


“Innovation isn’t just about technology – it’s about partnerships, good practice and a will to change. Having the support of NHS Employers, Skills for Health and HR for London since 2009 has been a tremendous learning experience and a real benefit to our service. It’s extremely gratifying to know that the same partnerships will now help others to hit the ground running, based on what we’ve learned, and no doubt share further ideas for improvement.”


All the resources are available to view and download here on the NHS Employers website: http://www.nhsemployers.org/streamlining

They are also available on the Skills for Health website at: http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/streamlining




Notes for editors:

·         The NHS Employers organisation is the recognised body for employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first. See www.nhsemployers.org for more information.

·         Follow NHS Employers on Twitter at @nhsemployers or follow Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, at @NHSE_Dean.

·         A full list of NHS Employers press releases and statements can be accessed at our Media Centre.


Contact details:

If you have a media enquiry, please contact the press office:

Mike Foster

Senior Media Officer

NHS Employers

Tel: 020 7799 8671

Email: mike.foster@nhsemployers.org 

For out of hours media enquiries, please contact the duty press officer on 07880 500 726.

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