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boost productivity and maximise the potential of 3,000 nursing staff

Major NHS employer in Northern Ireland relies on e-Rostering to boost productivity and maximise the potential of 3,000 nursing staff

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), a major employer in Health and Social care in Northern Ireland, is using SMART, provider of solutions for workforce management, as part of a two-year programme to further maximise employee performance and productivity. To date, the Trust has deployed SMART’s e Rostering solution at Altnagelvin Hospital, a district general hospital offering 460 beds, and it has begun to deliver tangible time savings. Longer-term, it is anticipated that the SMART technology will cover other hospital premises throughout the Trust to support the organisation’s junior medical, social care, domestic and catering staff. Since going live in September 2010, the Western Trust has already yielded significant benefits from the SMART implementation with positive feedback received from ward sisters and charge nurses. The Trust now has a robust technology framework to better utilise existing skills and resources and take a more cost-efficient approach to using bank and agency staff.

Before SMART, the Western Trust relied entirely on manual processes to record staff time and administer shifts. This approach was labour intensive and placed additional burden on ward sisters and charge nurses whose management and administrative responsibilities had expanded rapidly over the past few years. At the same time, increasing pressure came from central government to drive efficiencies across the Trust which spent around £5 million in 2008/2009 on overtime, bank and agency staff across all staff groups.

After conducting a thorough review of the marketplace in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Procurement & Logistics Service (PaLS), the Western Trust selected SMART for its robust, easy-to-use functionality, clean look and feel and value for money. The Trust purchased SMART’s e-Rostering system in June 2010 and began deploying the software in September 2010, initially focused on rolling it out to 3,000 nurses and midwives.

SMART e-Rostering now provides efficient rosters that ensure that nursing and midwifery staff with the correct mix of skills and experience are on duty for each and every shift and the e-Rostering system assists effective monitoring of the use of bank and agency staff.

Brendan McGrath, Assistant Director for Nursing at the Western Trust, commented: “Approximately 3,000 ward sisters/charge nurses, nurses and midwives will ultimately benefit from automated e-Rostering. The new SMART platform has gone a long way to driving efficiencies across the board, fundamental to meeting the ambitious targets set by the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.”

In addition, the Trust’s Corporate Management Team now receives six-monthly updates on progress with the implementation, and on the efficiencies being realised, to instil confidence in the investment.

Brendan McGrath added, “From the very beginning I have been impressed by SMART in terms of their professional approach, product functionality, commercial approach, and business integrity. Their openness, commitment to finding solutions to our needs and after-sales support are second to none.”
Tristan Spencer, Health Market Director at SMART, concluded: “The Western Trust is a pioneer of our technology in Ireland. The challenges it faces are similar to all large NHS Trusts with the constant need to maximise efficiencies and reduce costs. SMART’s workforce management solutions enable healthcare organisations to deploy their skills and resources quickly and cost-effectively, helping them to meet central Government targets and deliver excellent patient care at the same time.”



About Western Health and Social Care Trust
Established in April 2007, the Western Health and Social Care Trust provides health and social care services to approximately 290,000 residents. A major employer in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland, the organisation’s mission is to deliver high quality patient and client-focused care through well trained staff with high morale.

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Established in 1986, SMART is a leading provider of solutions for workforce management aimed at helping companies to maximise the performance, productivity and value of their people. By implementing SMART’s technology, organisations can expect to achieve a sustainable reduction in their people costs of up to 10%.

SMART’s web-based workforce management solutions manage complex shifts and annualised hours to ensure adequate staffing to meet fluctuating demands, which results in reduced absenteeism and recruitment costs, an end to spiralling overtime and an improvement in productivity. Importantly, the software helps to improve employee relationships through the use of powerful self-service and the ability to implement flexible working patterns.

SMART in Healthcare
SMART/HMT deliver fully integrated workforce management solutions for all nursing, medical, administrative and support services in the NHS to help achieve improved efficiencies and significant reductions in the costs of temporary staffing and overall people costs.

As a combined force, SMART and HMT provide comprehensive workforce management solutions to a significant proportion of the UK Healthcare market. HMT pioneered the first rostering systems for the NHS in 1997 and recently launched its flagship product RosterPro Central, which has been developed using the very latest technology. In 2001, the eHL solution from SMART was selected as best of breed provider of e-rostering and time and attendance for the National ESR programme and has unique, proven and fully automated integration with ESR.

Over 600 organisations worldwide benefit from SMART’s and HMT’s solutions and services in both the private and public sectors. Customers include Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Ocado, Gist, Habitat, Jaguar, JCB, Mandarin Oriental, Sainsbury's, Swissport, Trailfinders, Tussauds Group, and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service.

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For press enquiries, please contact:

Paski Matarazzo, Marketing Manager, SMART
Telephone: 01438 822229

Andreina West, PR Artistry
Telephone: 01491 639500

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