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Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust using SMART for E-rostering and T&A

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, a major employer and health services provider in the North East, is using SMART, provider of solutions for workforce management, for its e-rostering and time and attendance solutions. The Trust has already rolled out the Time and Attendance solution to over 80% of non-clinical staff, with all staff to be included by March 2011 and the e-rostering implementation completed by the end of 2011. The web-based T & A system is used with biometric hand readers to ensure accurate reading of working hours that feed directly into its ESR payroll system. The Trust expects to see cost and time savings through more accurate payroll, less administration and reduced use of bank staff through improved roster management. 

The T & A system records staff working hours and enables the Trust to generate accurate pay, including enhancements and streamlines the management of holidays, absence and time-off in lieu balances. Using the SMART e-rostering system staff are able to view their own hours worked/holidays due balances and can request shift patterns online. The Trust is able to provide a good work/life balance for staff by matching rosters to preferences and skills, complying with EWTD and New Deal legislation. 

Pam Oliver, Assistant Director of Finance at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said, “One of the main reasons for taking the system was to find a replacement for the antiquated timesheet system which does not fit into the recommended payroll practices for the operation of ESR. The use of SMART provides us with better payroll controls and allows us to provide a more accurate payroll service. It provides more timely information for leavers and consequently reduces the possibility of overpayments. It gives an efficient process for recording staff absences and allows HR and managers to manage sickness absence more effectively” 

Clare Jones, Project Manager at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust commented; “One of the factors that we liked about SMART was its ability to provide systems that accommodate the different staff contracts that we have across the Trust, including fixed shifts, roster and flexi shifts. 

We now have much improved visibility of practices used across the Trust in departments and wards so that we have been able to standardise shift patterns in some areas to meet the demands of patient services, legislation and work/life balance. We have been able to streamline our payroll processes – removing manual timesheets and paperwork - that we estimate saves each employee over an hour every month. In addition, through improved management we are reducing our use of bank staff and we have the opportunity to increase staff morale by through more equitable and visible rostering and accurate pay.” 

Tristan Spencer, Health Market Director at SMART, commented: “Large NHS Trusts constantly need to balance the costs of deployment of staff to provide the required patient services, compliance with working time legislation and ensure that work life balance is maintained for employee well being and staff retention. “Using SMART’s solutions enables NHS Trusts to manage working hours accurately, fairly and transparently. They help managers to deliver effective staff rosters that also provide cost savings and improve staff morale as a result.”

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