Thoughts and Conclusions.

This Rota Isn’t Self-Rostering, You Are a Fraud and Have Sold Me a Lie!

That’s funny you sound just like my internal voice!

First off, what is self-rostering?  Having kept a close eye on the #twittersphere – it didn’t happen in EM unless you put it on twitter – there are quite a few people trying different models of non-rolling rotas.  Currently with a 30 person rota there is not a solution that exists to allow people to truly self-roster.

True self-rostering to me means choosing your shifts and hours, completely independently, without any external supervision and meeting the department need.  I think there are a few reasons why this hasn’t happened yet.

Firstly, the rules governing rotas, what is and isn’t allowed, are complicated. The amount of time it would take to develop a technological solution that could cover all eventualities would be immense.   Healthrota does very well at meeting this, it certainly has kept me from rostering too many shifts close together or breaking rules accidently.  It also allows a lot of the day to day stuff to be managed a lot better, people can swap shifts without having to talk to anyone and request leave easily.

Secondly, people would have to be provided with the information on how many shifts they have to work. This would need to be a dynamic number based on annual leave, study leave etc and no technological solution to this currently exists.  In fact the biggest current downside to healthrota is I need at least 1 spreadsheet open at the same time to plan the rota because the program doesn’t give me all the information I need.

Thirdly, all departments work differently. This means that while a rota software company might be able to build a bespoke system for your department, a department down the road may have completely different needs.  This means another bespoke system and bespoke systems cost money.  Excel spreadsheets work well in creating bespoke solutions for departments but they don’t create true self-rostering systems as they need someone to data input – mainly a rota co-ordinator.

In Conclusion:

  • Moving away from rolling rotas, however you do it, is good and more than doable .
  • It helps not hinders trainees especially LTFT trainees.
  • It helps not hinders departments.
  • It is a lot of work and at times scary.
  • You’ll need support – alcohol is not support.
  • It is worth it.

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