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Trust boosts staff numbers and satisfaction after overhauling rota system

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 12 October 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2493
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

An NHS trust has been able to hire 18 more doctors and improve scheduling for its trainees by carrying out a huge redesign of its rota system—going from siloed spreadsheets to a cross-functional e-rostering system.

The project team at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust—made up of junior doctors and administrative staff—were frustrated with the previous system which involved each department having its own spreadsheet, with no ability to see doctors’ availability, why there might be a gap in the rota, or what changes had been made.

Daniel Smith, a respiratory specialist registrar and member of the rota redevelopment team, told The BMJ, “You had no understanding of how many junior doctors you had at each time of the day. If there was a gap, you couldn’t understand why because there was no history behind it, no auditing available. And the ‘on call’ rota was only for the on-calls, so it didn’t tell you what all the other junior doctors were doing when they were not on call. We had …

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