Guy Meyer | 9 September 2020
How technology can free up the time of frontline hospital staff
The NHS is the largest public sector employer in the UK with c 1.1 million staff in hospitals and community services; the total number of consultant-led NHS hospital beds in the UK was over 142,000 in 2018/9.
High levels of staff turnover a critical issue
A major problem that faces this huge organization is staff turnover. Even before the current Covid-19 pandemic, The Health Foundation was warning that this was a critical issue for the NHS, with Trusts reporting 100,000 vacancies, including more than 41,000 nursing posts, vacant across the NHS in 2018.
Extra pressure from Covid-19
The effect of the pandemic has yet to be quantified, but it has contributed significantly to the pressure on already hard-pressed staff. It is estimated that 165,000 working days were lost to the NHS at the height of the crisis, due to mental health-related absence, placing further pressure on the system.
The challenge of maintaining effective control
With such a fluid workforce, likely to be further affected by the impact of Brexit from the end of 2020, the task of maintaining effective operational control is immense. Huge numbers of people at various sites with widely varying job functions all have to be accounted for and managed, taking into account their qualifications and the varied compliance and regulatory requirements they must adhere to. And the consequences of mistakes creeping into the system are significant. Protecting people and patients is a priority.
How technology frees up time
A major priority has to be ensuring that each individual has the time to focus on their job and not the administration issues that surround it. This is where technology can help.
Catenae can provide NHS Foundation Trusts and other providers of hospital services with solutions that give them access to trusted, secure answers to real-time workforce management, paperless inspection and reporting, scheduling, timesheet management and incident reporting.
Our products include OnSite WorkID, a digital wallet that allows the user to prove their identity, status, qualifications and certification; and OnSite TaskManager, a remote workforce management solution that allows the secure scheduling of shifts and the tasks within them. Both these are delivered within an app on a mobile device.
Security through blockchain
These solutions use blockchain-enabled systems. Data entered on them can never be fraudulently tampered with and all updates are amended and logged.
Focus on the patient
This means that hospital administrators can have peace of mind, knowing that major potential sources of inaccuracy and error have been eliminated; and frontline staffs can avoid the stress of time spent on administrative requirements and focus their skills where they are needed, on the patient.
 Daily Telegraph, 01.08.20  A critical moment: NHS staffing trends, retention and attrition, February 2019  Ibid