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Sharing best practice at the Ambulance Trust Roster Review Forum

On the 15th June Working Time Solutions hosted a unique event for Ambulance Trusts focused on a key area of workforce planning and management.

As one delegate put it: "Resourcing lies at the heart of most of the issues we face". 

The Roster Review Forum explored how to create and manage dynamic and responsive rosters and looked in detail at a methodology that is proven to deliver results whilst minimising risk.

The event was exceptionally well attended, with 11 Ambulance Services present that jointly cover 85% of the UK geography, all of whom gained insight from a mix of presentations, roundtable discussions and interactive sessions.

There was a real sense in the room that Ambulance Services will benefit by coming together to share learnings in this particularly complex and sensitive area of change management.

Working Time Solutions was privileged to co-host the event with senior representatives from London Ambulance Service (LAS) and South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST) who imparted highly valuable insight and advice to their peers. 

The morning sessions

Designing, implementing and maintaining rosters that remain aligned to demand is a pressing requirement for Ambulance Services given the challenges posed by initiatives such as the Ambulance Response Programme (ARP) and Dispatch on Disposition.

The day opened with an address from Neil Le Chevalier, Director of Operations at SWAST who discussed these key changes, their impact on demand and the implications they have for people, vehicles and estates.

This led perfectly into a session co-hosted by Working Time Solutions consultants, Ceri Smart (SWAST) and Gareth Hughes (LAS). The team, who have all worked closely together on recent roster reviews shared knowledge, practical tips and considerations around project planning, resourcing and management.  

They discussed how aligning shift patterns to demand is central to creating efficient resourcing models and how it also presents the opportunity to improve the wellbeing and work life balance of paramedics and other shift workers.

We were also joined by Julie Bell from HSL (the HSE’s Health & Safety Laboratory) who looked at the latest scientific research behind fatigue, risk and stress and what should be considered when designing shift patterns.

The afternoon:

The opening session after lunch provided practical guidance on effective communications and engagement within a roster review.

James Lloyd-Davies (3cPR) and Lucy Manning (SWAST) looked at how important the right strategy, content and channels (including social media) is to encourage participation and mitigate risk.

The final two sessions were practical interactive exercises exploring the shift design variables which will need to be considered to establish core principles which rosters can be designed against.

Using these principals, teams then used Working Time Solutions’ software to design a roster that met all the stipulated requirements.


Given Ambulance Services are facing a period of uncertainty, there is an imperative to ensure their working patterns can remain aligned to changing demand and the needs of their employees.

The Roster Review forum was conceived specifically to help Ambulance Services gain a solid understanding of the best practice approach which has proven effective in recent roster reviews.

As one delegate stated in their feedback, the event was: “an eye opener about how to approach future change.”

We’d like to thank all those who attended and contributed to the day’s success.  

As a not-for-profit event, Working Time Solutions and all Trust colleagues gave their time free of charge. Any profits will be doubled by Working Time Solutions and donated to The Ambulance Services Charity.

If you’d like to know more about how our software and expertise is being harnessed by Ambulance Services, explore this site or contact us now.

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