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E-rostering will help eliminate the fluctuation in staff numbers and the skill mix of the staff on wards

Mental Health Services trust in Scotland assess e-rostering and Real Time Hospital from SMART after review of ward-based nursing costs

NHS Grampian is running an e-rostering pilot with SMART as part of an initiative to improve existing practices, achieve efficiencies and increase productivity, whilst maintaining high quality of care for patients. The pilot, which is one of the largest undertaken in the UK, covers 19 wards over a 10 month period. It started in September 2011, and all wards are expected to have received training on the system and to be operational by February 2012. As part of the pilot, Grampian is working with SMART on Real Time Hospital which will interface with the e-rostering system to provide real time staff management.

Together, e-rostering and Real Time Hospital will provide managers with a comprehensive planning tool and a real time management facility with dashboards to instantly highlight staff and patient situations on wards. The health board has conservatively estimated that if implemented fully the e-rostering and Real Time Hospital system will save at least one full time equivalent per ward per year. Neil Buchanan, Efficiency and Productivity Programme Manager for NHS Grampian explained, “We believe that if we can find a way to get the right staff in the right place at the right time, we can make efficiencies whilst protecting existing levels of service provision. E-rostering will help eliminate the fluctuation in staff numbers and the skill mix of the staff on wards thereby ensuring the provision of a consistent, safe service without unnecessary wastage.”

Mr Buchanan went on to say, “In a busy hospital the process of collating information regarding ward staffing levels and patient details in order to make effective operational decisions can be extremely time consuming. Indeed the laborious nature of this process can result in the gathered data being insufficiently current to act upon effectively.

“SMART’s Real Time Hospital, which is currently being piloted at NHS Grampian, is designed to present regular information updates on the staff criteria that directly impact on the provision of safe, high quality care. It is clarity of presentation and the speed of information availability that should help our managers to assess manpower requirements and take timely and effective decisions when required.”

Nick Whiteley, Managing Director, Health Division at SMART said, “SMART is committed to providing innovative solutions to the NHS to help with every aspect of workforce management and supporting the QIPP agenda. Real Time Hospital has been designed, in conjunction with our customers, to provide a real time decision support system specific to the NHS that enables safe patient care and safe deployment of staff. By avoiding patient safety incidents trusts and health boards like NHS Grampian can potentially make huge savings. Today’s NHS trusts and health boards face a constant uphill struggle to reduce costs and deliver the same level of excellent patient care, automated systems for workforce management not only optimise the use of staff, they release many hours of skilled personnel back to patient care, and they can ensure that preventable harmful incidents are avoided, to the benefit of all.”



Established in 1986, SMART is a leading provider of web-based solutions for workforce management designed to help companies achieve agility and cost-efficiency from their greatest asset – people.

SMART’s comprehensive portfolio, covering:

• e-Rostering
• Time & Attendance
• Bank Management
• Real Time Hospital
• Doctors Rostering, delivers a range of tangible business benefits to private and public sector organisations. By implementing SMART’s technology, organisations can expect to achieve a sustainable reduction in their people costs of up to 10%. By adopting a hosted approach to workforce management using SMART, businesses can save £100,000s and up to 5.5 tonnes of CO2 a year.

SMART in Healthcare

SMART has a strong reputation for delivering fully integrated workforce management solutions to a significant proportion of the UK Healthcare market – all from a single, central platform. The company offers a free initial consultation service to NHS organisations using SMART’s Workforce Efficiency Assessment (WEA) tool. WEA provides a detailed analysis of an NHS organisation’s shift patterns, rotas and local staffing agreements in order to assess best working practices and provide recommendations for the future.

SMART is dedicated to helping customers maximise their SMART investment by offering a full range of support, consultancy and training services. It works closely with customers to develop new products and organises regular events that facilitate knowledge sharing and learning across the SMART user community.

Over 600 organisations worldwide benefit from SMART’s solutions and services. Customers include Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Western Health & Social Care Trust, Ocado, Gist, Jaguar, JCB, Mandarin Oriental, Sainsbury's, Swissport, Trailfinders, Tussauds Group, and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service.

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For information relating specifically to the NHS sector, please visit:

For press enquiries, please contact:

Paski Matarazzo, Marketing Manager, SMART
Telephone: 01438 822229

Andreina West, PR Artistry
Telephone: 01491 639500

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