5 takeaways from our webinar on Primary Care staff banks with Dr Karen Kirkham
Last week, we were joined by Dr Karen Kirkham and Dr Steve Laitner to discuss: “Primary Care staff banks: Why does your ICS need one, and why now?”.
During the session we heard details of the NHSE funding currently available to ICSs, and Karen shared her own experiences of setting up a staff bank across Dorset ICS. She also gave some crucial advice for any other Systems looking to build their own banks.
Here are five key points to know if you missed the session.
1. The £120k NHS England funding for ICSs can be used in three ways
The funding from NHSE is available until 31st March 2021 is designed to “make Primary Care a great place to work”.
It is intended to help ICSs reduce pressure on spend, increase access to a wide network of clinicians, improve temporary staffing, and build better relationships.
It can be used to create a digital staff bank, to improve peer support and networking, or to enhance an existing solution. For Systems choosing to create a digital staff bank, there is a framework of approved digital suppliers in place – one of which is Lantum.
2. Digital staff banks benefit your population and your staff
Beginning the session, Dr Steve Laitner described the value of adopting a Population Health Management approach in Primary Care. He explained that by assessing the segmented needs of the population, and aligning those needs with the interests and preferences of the workforce, Systems can deliver care in the best way for both patients and staff.
Dr Karen Kirkham also commented that to move towards a personalised, multi-professional care model, having an integrated workforce is key. And, as portfolio careers become more popular among GPs and nurses, all Systems will need to rethink how their staff are deployed. To do that, they need full visibility and understanding of workforce demand and usage.
Digital staff banks are well suited to deliver on these needs. By bringing the workforce together in one place, they give ICSs full visibility and transparency of the workforce. They also break down traditional boundaries to allow staff to be flexibly deployed across organisations – not only improving care provision, but also improving staff wellbeing and retention.
3. There are five important things to consider before choosing a digital staff bank provider
Having spearheaded the creation of a digital staff bank across Dorset ICS, Dr Karen Kirkham shared five pieces of advice for any systems looking to do the same:
- Have a clear objective - Establish exactly what you hope to achieve with a staff bank
- Look for a partner, not just a supplier - Ask how the provider can adapt to and accommodate your needs
- Assign a dedicated project manager - Identify who in your team will be responsible for driving uptake of your chosen solution
- Create a level playing field between organisations - Ensure pay rates and conditions are equal so staff accept work across all sites and you don’t risk destabilizing services
- Look for the best value for money – Think about the long term capabilities and efficiencies the platform can deliver (e.g. does the bank accommodate all staff types? does it also offer a scheduling tool?)
4. A staff bank helped Dorset ICS to achieve their goals and deliver on priorities
In 2018, Dorset ICS set out clear priorities that included integrating health and care, improving staff retention, and using data and technology to better inform the provision of care in their region.
To achieve these goals they knew they needed to transform how they managed their workforce. They hoped to bring the System-wide workforce together in one place, gain more visibility over staff demand, remove traditional boundaries to allow staff to be deployed flexibly, and reduce the administrative burden that often slowed processes down.
This led them to partnering with Lantum, and to date they have successfully:
- Created a bank of over 700 staff shared across 250 sites
- Expanded the staff bank to include multiple staff types
- Introduced ‘passports’ to enable staff to work across organisations
- Given clinicians the power to manage their own schedules via an app
- Set up and rostered new services – from urgent care services to vaccination clinics – within days
- Increased urgent care sessions filled from 39,000 to 107,000 within a year
Karen commented that Lantum's staff bank has enabled them to not only manage day-to-day capacity more efficiently, but also to respond rapidly to new demands – such as moving phlebotomy services from Secondary Care into Primary Care, and creating ‘Covid Hot Clinics’. She said: "It’s a tool we use routinely and is well embedded in our system. I look forward to seeing how the use cases increase in the future.”
5. For real savings and efficiencies, ICSs should look for an end-to-end solution
Lantum is the only platform to offer Connected Scheduling, which includes an integrated rota tool and a clinician network as well as a staff bank. While searching for the right provider, Dorset ICS recognised that this unique end-to-end solution would deliver increased efficiencies, savings and insights.
Today, Lantum enables Dorset’s organisations to schedule staff from the bank directly into rotas, with full visibility across the system. It also significantly reduces administration time and costs by automatically notifying staff of schedule updates, enabling automatic next day payments and taking care of clinical governance checks. Plus, with a network of 30,000 clinicians available to fill any shifts the staff bank can’t cover, there is more support on hand to ensure all services are fully staffed.
Dorset ICS is now exploring how they can use Lantum in Secondary Care, working towards the ultimate aim of fulfilling a Dorset system rota with staff that come from more than one provider. Karen said: “That is the heart of true integrated care systems and the nirvana that we want to reach.”