01st December 2016 Written by Skills for Health

Image: Exception reporting: how Realtime Rostering will support junior doctors.Skills for Health’s new e-rostering system, Realtime Rostering, offers a module specifically tailored to junior doctors: Doctors Rostering. With the new junior doctors’ contract set to continue rolling out in Trusts across England this December, Bryan Kessie, Head of Technical at Skills for Health takes a closer look at the many benefits of one of its key features: Exception Reporting.

After a small-scale initial rollout in October, the much-debated new junior doctors contract will be introduced for approximately 7,000 Foundation Doctors in Trusts across England this December.

One of the contract’s most significant points is that it specifies that Trusts must have an electronic solution for exception reporting: the process by which junior doctors highlight issues with their work schedule. This is something that Skills for Health’s e-rostering system, Realtime Rostering , is specifically designed to support.

Under the previous New Deal contract, junior doctors were given an agreed work pattern as they rotated through a series of placements across different hospitals or departments. Their pay was calculated using a banding system which based pay on the average hours and level of unsociable hours in their rota pattern, and twice a year doctors would complete diary cards to ensure their schedule matched their actual hours worked.

Room for Improvement

This method left clear room for improvement, as it only provided a narrow snapshot of activity, and failed to highlight educational issues such as missed seminars and further training opportunities because they were needed on wards. Under the new contract, exception reporting will enable junior doctors to quickly and easily highlight these and any other issues with their work schedule, allowing trusts to more quickly respond to issues raised by doctors.

How does it work?

If a junior doctor experiences a problem they can easily input the information using their computer, tablet or smartphone and a notification will instantly be sent to their supervisor. The doctor and their supervisor will meet and the outcome will be recorded on the system. Trusts will then be able to offer junior doctors time off in lieu or pay them for extra hours worked, as required.

Guardian of Safe Working

Another important part of the new contract is the introduction of a brand-new role within each Trust: the Guardian of Safe Working. This individual will be responsible for looking at scheduling issues from a Trust level and producing quarterly reports on outcomes. To support this position, Skills for Health is building a dashboard function into the Realtime Rostering system, putting all the data from across the organisation at their fingertips. Guardians will be able to get a clear overview, as well as drill down into the detail, to identify problem areas and act to resolve them.

By supporting junior doctors to report scheduling issues, and helping Guardians to identify the bigger-picture problems, exception reporting will make a valuable difference at an individual and a Trust-wide level.

Read more about Skills for Health and e-rostering

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