Local hospitals’ team nominated for national innovation award

The People Systems and Workforce Information (PSWI) Team at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) has been recognised for their exceptional contributions to healthcare innovation and have been nominated for the prestigious Innovate Health Care Awards in the Best Workforce Innovation category.

The national awards, which are organised by a collaboration between NHS England, the Academic Health Science Networks and NHS Confederation, celebrate initiatives that drive positive change within healthcare in England.

The PSWI Team at DBTH play an instrumental role in supporting the organisation by providing crucial end-user assistance across the Trust’s numerous workforce systems. Their responsibilities encompass a range of critical tasks, including transactional input into the Electronic Staff Record (ESR), audit procedures to validate temporary workforce invoices, provisioning vital workforce information, sickness absence management and working with the payroll team to ensure colleagues are paid correctly at the end of the month.

During the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team extended their efforts to provide further support to clinical colleagues. This included updating rostering systems with absence data, participating in national COVID reporting, and coordinating vaccination information. These additional responsibilities imposed significant pressure on the team, prompting the need to streamline labour-intensive manual activities by using robotic process automation (RPA).

Working with the organisation’s Digital Transformation team, beginning in August 2022, the team introduced automation to contract creation, sickness absence entries, and new start processing, completing the process by April 2023.

In addition to the RPA work, the two teams developed a HR dashboard to replace the production of multiple management reports which were run and sent via email to the Trust’s management teams. The report production took on average a week a month to produce once the payroll process had been finalised this went live in April 2023. The total time saved across the project is estimated at 100 hours a month, or almost three full-time employees – which has allowed team members to concentrate on other matters, beneficial to the organisation.

Mark Brookes, Associate Director of People and Organisational Development, expressed his enthusiasm about the nomination, stating: “We are delighted that the People Systems and Workforce Information Team has been recognised for their remarkable contributions to healthcare innovation. This nomination highlights their dedication and commitment to driving positive change within our organisation. I also want to thank our Digital Transformation team, without whom none of this would have been possible.”

The project’s alignment with the NHS People Strategy and DBTH’s recently published five-year People Strategy underscores its role in delivering new ways of working and care delivery. Although not directly patient-facing, the project’s core objective was to liberate front-line managers from time-consuming administrative tasks, enabling them to focus on more critical clinical activities.

Zoe Lintin, Chief People Officer, said: “The nomination of the People Systems and Workforce Information Team for the Best Workforce Innovation Award is a testament to their outstanding efforts in enhancing efficiency and effectiveness within our workforce. This recognition is well-deserved and reflects their commitment to innovation. I want to wish them the very best of luck in September!”

The Innovate Awards attracted a multitude of entries from healthcare and care teams across the nation, spanning eleven distinct award categories. The winners from each category will also compete for the coveted title of ‘Innovation Champion of the Year,’ which will be revealed during the award ceremony in September.