21 February 2017

Major improvements have been made to recruitment at the Trust which runs Shropshire’s acute hospitals, meaning it now takes far less time to approve adverts for job vacancies.

The staff involved in the first Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW) for the Recruitment Value Stream

The streamlined processes were implemented after research, through a Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW), where it was revealed that it was taking more than 22 days to advertise a job vacancy from the moment of resignation – in some instances this can now be done in 37 minutes.

Recruitment is the third area that The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is conducting improvement work through its partnership with the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle. The other areas are Sepsis and Respiratory. A fourth Value Stream, Ophthalmology Outpatients, will be launched later this month.

Paula Dabbs, Head of Organisational Development and Transformation, who was the Team Sponsor for the RPIW, said: “The work has only been tested in one area of the hospital but it is really exciting to see what can be done when our talented teams get the opportunity to step away from the day job and use fresh eyes to improve the way we work.

“By delving into all the numerous forms they removed variation and duplication, and then created a dedicated intranet page where everything can be accessed in one place. The whole process was redesigned and tested through the week. It will be exciting to see how this process works in practice and how we measure through the continuous cycle of improvement.

“The changes may sound simple and straight-forward, but working in the busy environment that we all do, every day, we wouldn’t normally have time to do such important work.

“The longer we have a vacancy the fewer staff we have available to care for our patients, so I am extremely encouraged with what has been achieved in a week and look forward to following the work they do to make sure it is sustainable going forward.”

The improvements made during the latest RPIW follow those made during the Trust’s first recruitment RPIW.

The staff involved in the second RPIW for the Recruitment Value Stream

Louise Graham, Recruitment Manager and Process Owner for the first RPIW (Pre-employment stage), said: “On occasions it was taking us more than 42 days to provide a successful job candidate with a firm offer and a contract. Such delays result in our hospital teams being short staffed, so therefore it was important we found ways to enhance the process.

“By taking a step away from the day-to-day we were able to find the major causes for delays, such as forms not being completed properly or the candidate not attending the pre-employment meeting with the correct documents. We have been able to put robust systems in place to eliminate the majority of these issues which have resulted in a reduction in time to hire.  

“We continue to test the changes we made to make sure they are sustainable and so far, after 60 days the results have been extremely positive. We are still in the early days and there is still more work to do but so far it has been very encouraging and rewarding.”

Both teams will continue to monitor the improvements made during their RPIWs in an effort to sustain and/or improve the results. They will report their findings to the public after 30 days, 60 days and 90 days.