Improving rostering productivity at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Before Patchwork

As a result of complex siloed systems and manual processes, teams at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) faced a number of challenges when it came to managing their medical workforce. The previous rostering system in place lacked flexibility, making it arduous to build rosters that accounted for the personal and professional commitments of medical staff.

With multiple systems and processes in place across different departments, maintaining visibility of workforce activities created a significant administrative burden – this made planning rosters a time-consuming process and responding effectively to fluctuating demand and staff availability particularly challenging. Without clear oversight of workforce activities, the trust became more reliant on third-party agencies to fill gaps, driving up staffing spend.

Results from our partnership

NCIC partnered with Patchwork to implement an e-rostering platform in December 2023, and achieved significant improvements in productivity and operational efficiency as a result:

  • Creating rosters now takes as little as 30 minutes, a drastic reduction from the previous 8 hours
  • Managing rosters has been streamlined to just 2 hours daily, down from 5 hours
  • The time required to approve or reject leave requests has reduced from 3 weeks to just 5 days

These time savings have contributed to more efficient workforce management, enabling the trust to quickly and safely assign staffing resources, respond to service demand, and support changes to achieve better staffing across departments.

The platform allows managers to access all rostering, rota-building, leave management and exception reporting in one place, streamlining their day-to-day workloads and allowing them to more easily plan staffing in advance and in line with changing demand.

Medics can view their individual and team rotas, and submit leave requests on one connected app, providing greater control and flexibility over their schedules. In-built exception reporting allows medics to flag additional hours and missed activity outside of their roster, supporting staff wellbeing and protecting doctors’ training time. As a result, NCIC has seen improved engagement across e-rostering.

When Patchwork users were surveyed and asked “how much of an improvement is the new Patchwork system?”, the average was over an 80% improvement in clinician satisfaction.

One staffing co-ordinator commented, “Love Patchwork. It has made such a difference, we can’t wait for the consultants to go on.”

Medics commented:


I like it. Clear, informative, I like the leave booking process

It is easy to see who I am working with and holistic in general

Since going live the central rostering team has provided the following feedback:

Very intuitive and easy to navigate

The views are particularly useful to meet the different users’ needs

Very good, any issues were handled well and worked on in tandem

With access to Patchwork Insights, which surfaces all rostering data on a range of digestible dashboards, NCIC has streamlined workforce reporting and empowered managers to monitor staffing trends, supporting the guardian of safe working and aiding the lead employer trust and industrial action returns.

We are excited to be working with Patchwork Health to deliver the trust’s medical e-rostering, recognising the needs of our staff for an intuitive and flexible solution to cover the medical workforce. The Patchwork team have been superb at ensuring a safe and supportive rollout to our first cohorts of staff, giving us a smooth and seamless switchover. Supporting us to find new ways to actualise flexible working and service demands, we look forward to expanding our staffing reach across wider users and additional departments as well as introducing currently untapped capabilities with the new system.”

Dr Adrian Clements Executive Medical Director

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