Self-rostering system helps NHS trust reduce stress

An
NHS trust has tackled stress in its ranks by introducing a self-rostering
system that enables staff to improve their work-life balance.

Good
Hope Hospital NHS Trust, in the West Midlands, developed an IT-based
self-rostering system to make it easier for nursing staff to work the hours and
shifts they want.

Trust
HR director, Ken Hutchinson, said nurses can enter their preferred shift
patterns into the computer system, and the hospital then balances this with the
staff that are needed.

He
said the trust previously had a problem recruiting and retaining specialist
nursing staff, but the new system – which has been running for 18 months – has
seen turnover drop from 14 per cent to 9 per cent, and sickness absence fall
from 6 per cent to 5 per cent. "The new system is working well across four
wards," said Hutchinson.

Developed
by technology company HMT, the system takes the burden of rostering away from
ward managers and places control in the hands of staff.

"We
wanted something new, something that could be used at other trusts,"
Hutchinson added.

He
said getting staff on board wasn’t easy, but the nurses now back the scheme.
"Once people realise it benefits them, they accept change," he said.

The
system led to the trust winning the Improving Staff Morale Award at the
Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management awards last month, and the
trust has been named a ‘Beacon of Excellence in Stress Prevention’ by the
Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The
HSE said the self-rostering system was an "excellent example of a primary
intervention… to allow staff to tackle the pressure of having to organise
work life and home life".

www.goodhope.org.uk

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