Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT), like every NHS Trust, has problems with staffing.
Every week the Temporary Staffing Team needs to fill around 2200 individual shifts, and this is a constant battle.
One of the Temporary Staffing Team’s methods of communicating with their Staff Bank was via SMS text messaging and, because of the sheer numbers of shifts they needed to fill, they were spending a considerable amount of money on sending SMS text messages.
The Trust needed a drastic reduction in this expenditure.
When BTS, a longstanding supplier to the Trust, presented its digital messaging platform to the Trust, it quickly became apparent that it could be adapted to deliver Bank Staff Messaging, allowing the Trust to make the SMS savings it needed.
BTS worked with TSDFT to analyse their requirements and tailor its digital messaging platform to meet the Trust’s specific needs.
One particular requirement that emerged during this process was the importance of ensuring that any changes to working practices did not increase the administrative burden on the Temporary Staffing Team.
Working with TSDFT, BTS adapted its digital messaging platform to support Bank Staff Messaging and to ensure there was no additional administrative overhead on the Temporary Staffing Team.
The intended benefits of the new solution were:
• Cost Savings on SMS
• Reduced administration for the Temporary Staffing Team
• An improved user experience for the Temporary Staffing Team, by reducing the amount of typing required to send messages
• A consistent presentation of messages to Bank members, making messages easier to read
• The ability to send longer messages, allowing Bank members to receive fewer messages
TSDFT ran a campaign within the Trust to ensure that Bank members were prepared for the forthcoming change in how they would be notified about shifts. This included drop-in App familiarisation sessions in Temporary Staffing for Bank members.
TSDFT’s BTS Atereo Bank Staff Messaging solution went live in August 2019.
At launch, over 1200 Bank members had downloaded the App on either iOS or Android and registered to receive messages.
After a very short period of time, it became clear that Atereo Bank Staff Messaging was delivering far more benefits than originally expected, and an even stronger ROI.
Atereo Bank Staff Messaging was sending over 300,000 messages per month and the Trust saw an 85% drop in its expenditure on SMS Text Messages.
TSDFT’s Temporary Staffing Team also saw far more benefits in terms of reduced administration than originally expected, which will save the Trust an estimated additional £8,000 per annum.
One member of the Temporary Staffing Team commented:
“When doing the 6-week shifts, I now spend 20 minutes or less, whereas it used to take hours and hours.”
The feedback from Bank members was positive, with most members finding the App very easy to use.
In addition, the Trust realised other benefits, including:
• Better Information Governance
• Cleansed data
• Streamlined processes within the Temporary Staffing Team
• Improved Staff Directory available to all staff
• More staff using NHS Mail, particularly those on the Bank
• Improved diversity (Bank members can use either Atereo App or Email to receive shift notifications)
TSDFT are delighted with the Atereo Bank Staff Messaging solution, particularly as it has delivered them an ROI in under 3 months.
Gary Hotine, HIS Director, commented:
“It is really nice to have a project where all the intended benefits were realised.”