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How reduced budgets have led to new approaches to workforce planning

Cuts, Cuts, Cuts! That’s all NHS Trust’s will be seeing and hearing at the moment, and although it’s not ideal, can sometimes lead to a solution of bigger issues through trying to be frugal and having to find new ways of working with a reduced budget – at least that’s the positive spin many are going to have to put on the situation. Clever ways of solving a problem with a smaller pot of money are often sought out by those who are creative in their ways of thinking - thinking outside the box in moments of huge pressure.

Sometimes the solution to such problems take time and effort to seek out, other times the answer may not seem that obvious, even when it might be staring you in the face. The Government suggests efficiency savings should be made via the digitisation of diagnostic and frontline services, as this has been shown to reduce cost per admission by up to 13% - improving the efficiency of surgical hubs and developing digital tools to cut time spent by staff on administrative tasks.

This came after the Government announced that the NHS should aim to make £5.5bn in savings through reduction in waste spending. However, NHS Providers via asking NHS Trust Leaders claims their views on efficiency savings should be focused on better workforce planning (joint highest response alongside ‘Reducing unwarranted clinical variation’, to a poll asking ‘Which specific initiatives offer the best opportunity for large savings at your trust in the next 5 years?’. Which do you think is better for efficiency savings – the Government’s less admin via digitisation route, or NHS Providers’ workforce planning option?

The ideal solution would combine both of the above options -  sound improved workforce planning, workforce efficiency and increased throughput.

Digitised in their ways of working; GV Healthcare. GV Healthcare has allowed those hospitals to use the data provided to track progress, trends, peaks and troughs in demand - meaning they can plan accordingly with their workforce. Admin from the actual task is reduced as is the need for the administrative needs for showcasing results.

Some of the improvements seen include a hospital expansion that required no extra staff due to the of data from the digitised system. It saw new wards built, but due to the data available through the system, it allowed management to be better with their workforce management, meaning no extra staff were needed to cover the extra beds. Another hospitals saw improved efficiency within its Imaging Department greater throughput for patient imaging, and for some hospitals where it is install site-wide, saw an increase in throughput over the entire hospital, one showing nearly an extra 10,000 jobs completed per month, all thanks to better planning and efficiency.

We’re not saying this is the answer to all your budget saving requirements, but a short-term investment can result in big long-term savings.

If you'd like to know more, or be put in touch with one of the hospitals we work with to hear firsthand how MyPorter has helped, contact them by email or via the website.

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NHE May/June 2024

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