9th December 2021
As 2021 draws to a close, we look at why Civica Scheduling matters to our customers and users, system leaders and patients.
1. Helping community services articulate their value
The NHS has seen an influx of technological advances in recent years, from the introduction of NHS 111 and online patient records to apps that help patients manage conditions such as diabetes at home. Advances such as these, not to mention the increase in digitisation which has formed part of the pandemic response have combined to support overstretched NHS staff and improve the patient experience, whilst also generating substantial efficiency gains for the NHS.
Although community-based health and social care services have been much slower to adopt these advances in technology, community teams are now increasingly recognising the value of digitisation.
Many community teams are now adopting much needed e-scheduling systems, which are helping to drive efficiency savings and facilitate fair caseload allocation. E-scheduling of community health and social care services also supports the goals outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan; moving care away from the bricks-and-mortar hospital environment and into the community.
To achieve this transition, there is a need for clinically safe technology which can support community-based health and social care staff, whilst simultaneously protecting patients and making services more efficient. That’s where Civica Scheduling (formerly Malinko) comes in.
2. Clinical safety
Clinical safety is at the heart of everything we do. Unlike similar products on the market, Civica Scheduling is a clinical system that has been developed both with and for clinicians. Developed under the support and guidance of our NHS partners, we take clinical safety regulations extremely seriously, and work hard to ensure that we adhere to relevant legislation.
What’s more, we’ve worked hard to ‘future-proof’ the Malinko system by attaining Class I Medical Device Certification. This will make Civica Scheduling the only scheduling tool that meets all the clinical safety regulations required for this type of software.
3. Changing the narrative
Sam Sherrington, head of community nursing for NHS England has asked: “What do we get when we invest £100k in community nursing? We (community Nursing) need to prove our worth to system leaders”. National District Nursing Conference, October 2021
But how, exactly, can community nursing teams prove their worth?
At Civica, we believe passionately that community health and social care services should be better funded. Our software has been designed with clinicians, to provide our NHS partners with the information they need to schedule care safely and effectively, and to evidence capacity shortfalls.
We designed the Civica Scheduling app because we care about NHS community services, and want to give community health and care providers the tools to:
- Effectively manage community services and schedule care safely
- Reduce workloads by increasing efficiency
- Alleviate staff stress by introducing systems that are easy and quick to use
- Make accurate capacity and demand predictions based on verifiable data.
Civica Scheduling not only helps community teams to manage demand and capacity safely; it also gives them the tools they need to evidence staff shortages and demonstrate the work that they do on a daily basis.
4. Our community partners
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Anglian Community Enterprise CIC were among the first organisations to recognise Civica Scheduling’s potential. They began working with us in 2018, helping to build clinically safe software that would enable community health and social care organisations to manage their workforce capacity and schedule patient care more efficiently, based on demand.
Since that time, demand for the Civica Scheduling app has grown steadily. Following a successful pilot, we’ve been awarded the All Wales contract, adding Swansea Bay UHB, Powys Teaching Health Board, Cardiff and Vale UHB and Betsi Cadwaladr UHB to our growing list of NHS partners. We’re also working with Denbighshire County Council and Neath & Port Talbot to help coordinate social care provision in the region.
Our clinical e-scheduling system is already improving service delivery and transforming the working lives of nearly 3,000 community healthcare professionals in Wales. It’s also helping local authorities collaborate better and improving productivity, service delivery, staff safety and patient outcomes, whilst reducing the clinical risk and the cost of service delivery.
During the past year, we’ve also secured contracts with many more NHS organisations including North Lincolnshire and Goole, West Suffolk, Merseycare, East Suffolk & North Essex, as well as local authorities and private sector providers.
At Civica, we never stop learning, adapting and looking for ways to improve our service. Our user group workshops provide us with a great opportunity to engage with our users, share knowledge and experience and listen to valuable feedback from the people who matter.
We’re always building links with other industry professionals, and have recently partnered with EMIS, Servelec and Chai Analytics to further our shared goals of supporting community services through technology.
6. Our improvement journey
Civica Scheduling is already helping NHS community teams throughout the country to intelligently coordinate care, reduce costs, maximise efficiency and improve outcomes for patients.
But there’s always room for improvement. Ours is a relatively new technology, so it’s not perfect yet and we’re still learning.
That’s why we always take the time to listen to the people who are using our platform; for us, it’s a privilege to serve our NHS partners so their input is a key part of our product development. Providing an effective tool that is clinically-led is a priority for us.
Feedback from community teams, industry partners, innovators and patients is an essential part of the continuing evolution of Civica Scheduling. We care deeply about NHS community services and are constantly striving to provide them with better technology so that they can reduce clinical risk, improve outcomes for staff and patients and deliver safe community care.
Interoperability is a key concern for the NHS, as they strive to access the best technology available for specialist applications such as community care, without losing time switching between multiple systems.
Our API is openly available to our partners, which means the Malinko app can interface with existing systems for maximum benefit. We believe data should never be used as a proprietary asset of the software that generates it. We work to help our partners access their empirical data and use it to improve their services and inform decisions.
7. The future of community services
In line with the UK Government’s intention to move healthcare into the community, Civica Scheduling will continue to support community health and social care services to schedule and coordinate care in the most efficient, responsive and agile way possible.
Without intelligent scheduling, it’s virtually impossible for community health and social care teams to identify patients who are receiving multiple services and coordinate visits between departments.
Until now, District Nursing teams have been our primary focus. However, we are now rolling out the app across NHS community services including rapid response, intermediate care, therapies and specialist nursing. This will enable multiple services to work seamlessly together to intelligently schedule care around patient need, reducing the need for multiple visits and wasted clinician time. NHS Wales is already trialling this multidisciplinary approach and we envisage significant take-up across the UK in 2022.
We’re working to turn the rhetoric of Health and Social Care improvement into a reality. We’re proud of our clinicians, and of the work we’ve done so far to help community teams improve their service by embracing technology.
If you’re part of a community team and would like to find out more about what a clinical e-scheduling system could do for you, then get in touch.