The client

London Central and West Unscheduled Care Collaborative is a not-for-profit organisation that provides urgent care to 2.3 Million patients across London.  Soon to be one of the biggest GP out of hours services in England, the company provides urgent care services in the Central London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Camden and Islington; as well as the West London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hounslow and the North London boroughs of Haringey, Barnet, and Enfield.  Operating from multiple locations LCWUCC has 550 people on a range of contracts and provides unscheduled care services in a number of different settings across London.

RotaMaster is LCWUCC’s system of choice for managing its workforce including all permanent, temporary and bank staff.

The supplier

IQUS Limited, founded by practising GP, Chris Jones, in 1999 is a well-established software house providing workforce management solutions to UK healthcare organisations. IQUS is a recognised market leader in the provision of enterprise-level, rota management software – with its flagship product, RotaMaster.

Issues before RotaMaster

Prior to implementing RotaMaster LCWUCC told us they had had difficulties with the fairness, equity and transparency of their work allocation process.  They relied upon a manual system which meant keying data into a very basic electronic system.  They also relied heavily on a series of Excel workbooks to support rota needs across the organisation.

Conan O’Neill, Director of Operations, London Central & West Unscheduled Care Collaborative  – said“Our previous system was literally an area for storing data neatly with very little functionality or interaction with other business functions, including payroll.  In essence it was one step up from a paper-based system, and to be quite honest made the process of doing payroll a very much labour some, time consuming and error prone process. These inadequacies became more and more apparent as we secured more contracts and continued to grow.

“We had a lot of issues with all paper-based request forms from staff, as these would come via different routes including email and fax.  It was very difficult to make and manage shift modifications.  There was no audit trail in terms of who was making changes to rosters.  Fairness of allocation became a huge problem as did the level of administrative time required as we attempted to keep all of this under control.”

The solution

Rosters are generated entirely automatically now at LCWUCC using RotaMaster.  They chose the RotaMaster suite because it was clear it would prevent the duplication of effort, save time and money and give them a central view of their entire shifts situation across the organisation.

As well as being a market leading roster management system, RotaMaster offers a series of ‘value-add’ modules.  LCWUCC has invested in them all:

  • People+
    RotaMaster’s fully integrated HR system
  • Attendance+
    RotaMaster’s biometric time and attendance module
  • Finance+
    Runs pay calculations based on RotaMaster data for payroll and finance
  • Integrate+
    A module that takes care of integration to key 3rd-Party tools like Adastra.

Conan O’Neill said“For roster management the added functionality we get from RotaMaster is phenomenal so we are concentrating on rolling it out fully across the organisation first and foremost as we gradually introduce the add-on modules. The system is user driven and we are now streets ahead particularly in terms of the way we are able to communicate about shifts and rosters across the organisation.  E.g.  not only can we automatically allocate shifts to GPs electronically via RotaMaster, but we can confirm they’ve received their allocation and we can remind them via SMS text and emails.  We can even communicate gaps in the roster and there is a RotaMaster workforce web portal. It’s very slick.”

LCWUCC's top five benefits

Auto-Creation of roster for different staff groups

Conan O’Neill explained, “We use RotaMaster on a daily basis to manage GP rotas for services delivered across eleven London boroughs – the vast majority of these sessions are for doctors who are self employed.  Separately, we use the same functionality to effectively manage contracted staff, ensuring staff work the correct hours, allowing us to get the most out of our existing staff resource.  The software is very flexible in that we can manage staff on different contract types.  This flexibility has helped our service reduce significant overspend on rotas.”

Managing staff that have more than one job role

At LCWUCC it is very common for a member of staff to have more than one post or job role.

Conan O’Neill said“Some areas of our workforce are multi-trained.  For example some staff have part time roles in GP Out of Hours as well as our 111 service.  This is not a problem for us now that we have Rotamaster as the system handles this easily and efficiently when producing rosters.  It allows us to have the same member of staff on different rosters and different pay rates at different times.”

Managing Temporary /Bank Staff

RotaMaster is designed to handle the management of temporary and bank staff rosters too.  Keeping track of non-permanent staff was a challenge in the past for LCWUCC.  Conan O’Neill explained“It could sometimes prove to be chaotic keeping track of hours pre RotaMaster.  With bank staff we are required to pay annual leave against hours in arrears and this was a particular issue with our previous set-up.  Now RotaMaster automatically tracks all the hours done by bank staff and helps with the calculation of any pay due in lieu re annual leave.  It’s all taken care of automatically. A big time saver!”

Ability to assign costs to different locations

Using RotaMaster LCWUCC is able to monitor and manage pay for its 11 different contracts across 8 locations in London.   This enables reporting on the pay associated with all activity relating to a particular service or location.  Conan O’Neill said“It helps considerably with the payroll process and also with our dealings with the various commissioning bodies we work with.  RotaMaster makes it very easy to segment different elements of service and apportion costs.” 

The final word

Conan O’Neill concludes by saying“RotaMaster is the perfect tool for our organisation.  It meets all our needs and more.  We would certainly recommend it to any organisation wishing to make improvements and save costs.”  

“We are also very optimistic about our future with RotaMaster.  In terms of next steps, we plan to roll out the RotaMaster app soon as soon as this becomes available and we are looking forward to new RotaMaster developments  – the RotaMaster capacity planning  module and its recruitment module”.