6. Enabling productive working

4.47. Ensuring staff are making the most of their skills and expertise will form a critical component of the NHS workforce implementation plan. We need to work at national and local levels to put in place changes that remove wasted time and irritating tasks, so that staff are able to focus on patient care. HEE’s Workforce STAR is an online, interactive workforce transformation tool designed to support Trusts finding workforce solutions in this area. The rapid development of technology is a key opportunity to free up staff time. Staff report technology often delays access to the information they need, and that the personal technology in their pockets is more useful and functional than the technology they are provided at work. Improving technology will free up expensive staff time and provide safety prompts that will improve the quality of Professor Eric Topol is currently leading work to consider what education and training changes may be needed to maximise the opportunities of technology, artificial intelligence and genomics in the NHS. His conclusions will inform our workforce implementation plan.

Figure 23: Doctors’ views on ‘smarter’ working practices

Figure 23: Doctors’ views on ‘smarter’ working practices

Source: General Medical Council (GMC). The state of medical education and practice in the UK. December 2018.

4.48. By 2021, NHS Improvement will support NHS trusts and foundation trusts to deploy electronic rosters or e-job plans. The adoption of these tools such as e-job planning and e-rostering across the NHS will help ensure staff use their time optimally to provide patient care. This technology also helps providers make the most of their available workforce, thereby reducing the reliance on costly temporary staff.

4.49. To inform the work of the national workforce group, we will also commission a review of NHS workforce data, to ensure that the information available on the electronic staff record, NHS workforce data collections and other sources such as the Model Hospital databases, provide both local and national bodies with real time access to a single source of trusted information to guide and support both day-to-day and strategic workforce decision making.