What is it?
Establishment Genie is an easy, online tool that helps divisional management teams to review, compare, remodel and report their nursing and midwifery workforces. It gives a common language and clear information for senior nurses and midwives, finance, HR and operational management to work together and meet the safe staffing challenge in the context of service improvement, cost reduction, reconfiguration and inspection.
The National Quality Board, comprising the CQC, NHSI, NICE, NHS England, HEE and the DoH, issued updated policy in July 2016 which reiterated that safe, sustainable and productive staffing is an individual and collective responsibility for NHS provider boards. It states ‘There should be collaborative decision making between clinical and managerial staff, reporting to boards.’ In short, post-Francis, safe staffing is everyone’s responsibility.
We recognise the huge pressure and responsibility that lies in balancing budgets with safe staffing, and have designed Establishment Genie to help you navigate this with your colleagues, to understand how competing priorities interact and make informed decisions that are underpinned with detailed data and reports. The Genie enables you as a team to highlight and address concerns, develop realistic budgets with adequate cover, explore opportunities to redesign the establishment, and demonstrate where to hold the line to uphold safe levels of care.
Simply put, the Genie helps you build safe, fair and affordable establishments.
Why use it?
- Take stock of your establishments and remodel to improve safety or cost
- Deliver cost reduction safely and articulate the relationship between budgets and care levels
- Identify the exact WTE requirement and uplift for each ward and compare this to the budget
- Prepare for, or respond to, inspections by the CQC and other regulators
- Overlay staffing levels with quality indicators to explore trends between staffing and outcomes
- Explore better, cheaper ways of meeting fluctuations in demand, bed numbers and patient mix
- Save time and improve the quality of your monthly and six-monthly safe staffing reports
- Demonstrate compliance with recommendations from the Francis inquiry, Carter review and the NQB
- Model the workforce for new roles (e.g. Band 4 Nursing Associates), mergers or reconfiguration of services
How does it work?
The tool guides the user – typically a senior nurse or midwife – through easy to use screens, and it takes just 20-30 minutes to enter the simple information for a typical ward – things like shift timings, beds, budgets and spend on bank and agency. Once the data is entered, the team is ready to:
- Review the current WTE requirement, uplift, position against budget and the use of bank, agency and specials, alongside detailed staffing metrics that show planned care levels at 8-hourly intervals day and night, weekday and weekend. Exceptions against any care standards set by the trust are flagged for attention.
- Compare the ward with other wards in your hospital, or at other Establishment Genie trusts, on staffing metrics. You can overlay this with outcomes for patients (e.g. from the safety thermometer), staff (e.g. vacancy and turnover) and operational outcomes (e.g. delayed transfers).
- Remodel to address any areas of concern around safety and quality, for lower costs and cheaper ways of meeting demand (e.g. more cost effective resourcing of specialling, explore the effect of new roles), or to meet changes in activity or restructuring.
- Report, using summary and detailed automated PDF reports that allow you to add commentary to express issues, explain decisions, articulate risks and describe action plans. The reports are also designed to automate the production of the mandatory monthly and six-monthly safe staffing report, which saves senior staff time and gives a high quality output.