Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust has used funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement to implement the new clinical e-scheduling system.

The Malinko system, which cost around £200,000, uses staff rostering and knowledge of skill sets to ensure that patients within the trust see the right healthcare clinician, at the right time and in the right place.

Benefits include staff having more time to spend on care as well as reducing cancellations and missed visits.

Helen Turner, head of nursing for the community and therapy division at the trust, said: “These types of systems make our allocation of patient visits much easier and enables more time with our patients. This will be really positive to nurses and other healthcare staff because it provides accurate information about allocated work, reduces the time nurses spend allocating visits, supports agile working and increases visibility of capacity and demand.”

Productivity of the trust’s staff is maximised with Malinko, as the system can re-allocate work should emergency situations arise – such as increased demand for services or staff off sick. It can also allocate unplanned work as necessary throughout the day.

Furthermore, scheduling administration is reduced, and as the system works in real time, workers can pick up urgent visits on the go without needing to return to base. It also gives the trust an effective solution for responding to changes in demand for services and operational pressures by re-deploying staff as needed.

Turner continued: “The division will have visibility of capacity and demand on a daily basis that is real time, allowing for confident re-allocation of visits and unplanned activity. Linking the scheduling system with electronic rostering will enable measurement of utilisation, productivity and efficiency.”

The trust is not alone in moving to a digital solution for staff rostering. Last year James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust rolled out Allocate’s Activity Manager to better manage the distribution of clinical staff.