10th October 2016 Written by Skills for Health

New and improved Realtime Rostering system

Image: Realtime rostering.With e-rostering now the preferred approach for organising staff rotas, NHS trusts across the UK are set to benefit from further developments to our existing Doctors Rostering System (DRS).

Previously paperwork took up to a week to finalise, and additional off duty nursing timesheets a fortnight, in some instances. Now with e-rostering, technology administration time around the scheduling process can be reduced significantly and will allow the scheduler to spend more time within the care setting, allowing the organisation to be more patient-centred.


At a time when the need for efficiency savings to be made has been so widely emphasised, not only in hospitals but across the NHS, e-rostering is also seen as an effective means of ensuring good people management practices are in place and that staff are deployed in the most productive way. Engaging all NHS staff in the challenge to make greater efficiencies has also been highlighted as a key element in further improving patient care.

As a trusted provider of healthcare solutions across the UK, and with safe staffing and patient safety issues in mind at all times, Skills For Health has therefore enhanced its current workforce management systems to provide not only a cost effective, accurate and efficient system when it comes to doctors rostering, but also around general staff rostering too.

Developed by industry experts, the new technology consolidates information around shift preferences, sick leave, holidays and other staff movements in one place. E-rostering can help reduce agency spend and has been known to achieve zero reliance on agency provision in some cases. By ensuring adequate cover is secured well in advance, the technology also helps ensure staff morale and the overall demands of the Working Time Directive are maintained across all staff groups, even during busy times.

As such, the new Skills For Health Realtime Rostering system will provide trusts with an additional ‘Duty Rostering’ facility for all staff, an ‘Events Planner’ for overseeing appointments, clinics and other activities, and a ‘Locum’ schedule showing when cover may be required – all of which are quick, simple and easy to use.

Already compliant with the new 2016 Junior Doctor Contract, the improved DRS4 module will also allow schedulers to check rota compliance against the Working Time Regulations (WTR), and even flag up where and why a given work pattern fails current guidelines. The task of consultant job planning will also be simplified, with a more comprehensive overview of events enabling recurring activities to be assigned to an individual bearing their agreed job plan in mind.


With NHS budgets requiring greater efficiencies than ever before, e-rostering is proving crucial in helping trusts nationwide maximise on resources by increasing visibility across the board and ultimately preventing understaffing through better forward planning.

The introduction of an ‘Integrations’ facility allowing Realtime Rostering solutions to integrate seamlessly within existing third party systems (already used for HR, payroll, time and bank/locum facilities, for example) is also an essential element of this redevelopment, therefore. Opening up wider possibilities for e-rostering solutions to enhance theatre management, for example, and anesthetic rostering systems too, this facility also makes the transition to e-rostering for all as easy and straightforward as possible.

Based on the successes of e-rostering systems to date, many trusts are already reaping the benefits of a solution which has been produced by industry experts to ensure staff are deployed in the most productive way - and that ultimately a more balanced view of patient, people and financial performance is made available across the board.

The provision of a central data hub and single interface compatible with existing systems is set to prove crucial in retaining frontline services, therefore, and is something Skills for Health as a leading provider operating on a Not for Profit basis is committed to ensuring continuously meets the practitioner’s needs.

Read more about Skills for Health and e-rostering

To learn about our rostering solution please look at our Realtime Rostering site here.

Read more about the importance of e-rostering in the Carter Review on the NHS Employers website.

To discuss your Rostering requirements or to find out more please contact your Regional Director.