Clocking out of leave chaos


A wedding, a birthday, or just a day to do absolutely nothing – you would expect requesting leave to be a simple, seamless process for clinicians. Medical e-rostering systems should provide robust leave management to ensure safe, flexible staffing and scheduling, but sadly this is not always a guarantee in the NHS. 

Leave requests, cancellations, and approvals are critical components of these systems, and the ability to manage them effectively (or not) can have a significant impact on staff satisfaction. 

So, what does the situation look like for many?



When a clinician signs up to work in the NHS, they are aware of many of the challenges they are going to face – a high workload and unsocial hours being just two examples – but that does not mean to say that their shift preferences should not be considered when it comes to creating rosters.

The issue is that currently, many rostering systems do not have basic leave management functionality within one solution. In some instances, clinicians and managers are using two or three different systems (from mobile apps, to email and WhatsApp) to manage leave, creating complicated and admin-heavy processes. This may mean when a clinician is requesting leave, a manager cannot easily assess the impact it will have on the week’s rota and identify replacement shift cover. This lack of visibility and oversight is disempowering for managers who have to juggle multiple systems and spend hours managing extra admin. 

The current systems and processes in use also lack a clear communication pathway, with requests being lost over email, messages or notes in the office. For clinicians, these manual processes can lead to unpredictability around annual leave, creating frustration when they want to plan their holiday and personal life ahead of time.

If there is tech out there that can alleviate these challenges that exist when it comes to leave management, and handles it in a fair and straightforward manner, organisations should look to adopt these systems more widely.

So how does Patchwork address the problems with annual leave management?

Patchwork Rota has a dedicated leave management feature that enables staff to easily submit leave requests and cancellations, whilst also allowing managers to efficiently approve or deny requests – all in one solution. This means managers immediately know the impact leave will have on an upcoming schedule, providing the necessary oversight to deliver effective and safe rostering. Using Patchwork Rota is simple: a home page and clear notifications have been designed so that no important request or message is ever lost, empowering decisions and reducing the tabs open on a screen. Managers can also see the entire team’s schedule on a dashboard; upcoming holiday, study leave and any sick days across the week or month – giving them more control and direction when managing their rotas.

Booking annual leave in the Patchwork Rota app

Clinicians can also submit, track and cancel annual leave requests from the comfort of their own homes or on their commute to and from work on an intuitive app, streamlining previously admin-heavy methods of communication. Once a clinician submits their request, it’ll go directly to the relevant manager, who can then accept or reject it. This completely transparent process enables managers to keep track and inform clinicians automatically of any updates to a leave request.

Have a go on the feature yourself

As you can see, raising an annual leave request is incredibly straightforward. Patchwork Rota has been built alongside medical professionals, ensuring that clinicians and managers both have a seamless experience, solving the issues that exist with many current leave management processes. 

If you’d like to find out more about Patchwork Rota and how we’re reshaping workforce management, get in touch here.

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