Supporting over 40,000 clinicians with a not-so-temporary staff bank solution

The Challenge

Clinicians do not have time to be hindered by technology that doesn’t work or they can’t use. Unfortunately, for so many, this is a reality. It was recently reported that over 13.5 million hours of doctors’ time is wasted every year due to faulty or poor IT infrastructure.

For locum workers looking to work bank shifts, the absence of a centralised platform means clinicians are bogged down by endless emails, phone calls and last minute messages. The lack of visibility over shift vacancies often leaves clinicians in limbo, with the complications that come with securing work compounded by unreliable payment processes.

These challenges not only added unnecessary stress to already demanding roles but were also prohibitive to achieving a good work-life balance – a priority for a workforce with high levels of burnout and staff exit. NHS Digital reported over 100,000 vacancies within the NHS, a number tipped to grow.

This has created an environment where those providing care received very little back through the tech they were using. Alongside other vital priorities, our healthcare workers deserve a solution that they can, and actually want to use.

To retain an engaged temporary healthcare workforce, tech needs to not only work, but empower those using it.

The Solution

The Patchwork app for clinicians is purpose-built to provide maximum flexibility and autonomy. We work in close partnership with NHS organisations to ensure clinicians have the freedom to choose when, where, and how they work, to suit both organisational requirements and the personal preferences of the workforce. This flexibility directly improves job satisfaction and staff retention, and crucially does not mean unpredictability for organisations.

Clinicians are not afforded some of the luxuries many other industries are when it comes to flexible working, so when partnering with organisations, we sought to empower clinicians and make their lives easier with everything we build. This has been realised through our easy onboarding process, instant booking feature and increased visibility over digitised timesheets. The needs of clinicians continue to shape our product to ensure we are providing a solution that fits now and in the future.

Once you start, you can’t stop

One of the main challenges for implementing any new solution is getting people to actually use it. So, it is vital that accessing Patchwork is as straightforward as possible.

A one-time secure upload gives a clinician and organisation reassurance that documents are stored securely. Patchwork makes it simple for organisations to filter, view and accept workers onto the bank, meaning clinicians are able to access shifts promptly. The emphasis lies on individuals applying, fostering growth rather than solely relocating existing workers to the platform. This approach champions clinician ownership and empowerment, all whilst growing your bank. With Patchwork, 40,000+ healthcare workers across over 50 organisations are in the driving seat.

Through our advanced set of filters and calendar view, once clinicians are approved to join the bank, they can easily view shifts that align with their preferences and availability. Workers often choose to work bank shifts to access an additional income stream. With the payment process therefore being a priority for locum workers, we ensured that the Patchwork app provides a clear breakdown of rates associated with each shift. This provides the much-needed transparency that clinicians seek when picking up extra work.

Seamless shift booking

The back and forth communication between administrative staff and clinicians can be frustrating for all involved, and with an already intense workload to manage, crucial messages can sometimes slip through the net.

Enabling clinicians to easily book shifts that suit them through our tech can encourage a cohesive, progressive way of working, and ultimately ensures more vacancies are filled. Patchwork has built a booking process for partner organisations, whereby selected clinicians are able to instantly book themselves onto appropriate shifts, saving organisations time and clinicians hassle.

Clinicians who have the ability to instant book work 17% more shifts on average than those who don’t have this feature enabled. As a result, organisations see a 10% reduction in shifts needing to be escalated, when the feature is utilised in conjunction with longer shift lead times.

Plus, we made identifying candidates for instant booking within an organisation easier with Patchwork Insights. Using their work history and booking preferences, Insights can automatically identify potential instant bookers, supporting an organisation’s bank fill and making it quicker for clinicians to book shifts in line with their preferences.

Effortless earnings flow

Transparency around pay is a necessity, and so our app enables clinicians to manage timesheets and earnings effortlessly. Patchwork has worked with organisations to implement processes around timesheeting that benefit all involved.

Through our in-app electronic timesheeting functionality, clinicians are able to seamlessly manage payments in bulk by inputting hours worked and requesting sign-off either in person or remotely. The progress of payments can then be tracked in real-time through the app.

Once a timesheet is approved in the worker app, it is automatically forwarded to the appropriate team in the organisation for sign-off. Alternatively, a department can allow clinicians on the ground to sign-off shifts directly on the worker app, by configuring their preferred sign-off method with the organisation.

Both clinical and administrative staff have a clearer picture, eradicating mixed messages and speeding up a payment process that clinicians rely on.

Its been great! Soooo seamless and easy to use. Easy to view and book shifts, easy to upload CVs etc, love the electronic sign off….. No complaints at all!

ST1-2 Imperial College London NHS Trust

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