Highlights from the Ambulance Leadership Forum 2019
This year’s Ambulance Leadership Forum was packed with valuable insights from colleagues across the UK and beyond, who came together to explore best practice around service transformation, patient care and employee wellbeing.
Working Time Solutions was a major sponsor of the event, and we took the opportunity to showcase our shift work optimisation, rota management and employee scheduling software that’s helping ambulance trusts improve performance, efficiency and working conditions.
It was a fantastic few days. We’ve captured some of our highlights from the event, including brief summaries of various speaker sessions which explored everything from service transformation to meeting the needs of millennial workers.
We’d like to thank the team at The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) for putting on such an excellent event and look forward to continuing the many conversions started with colleagues in trusts, associations, unions and ambulance services around the world.
If the themes and topics strike a chord with you, our Emergency Services Roster Review Seminar might be of interest.
Taking place in Manchester city centre on 20th June 2019, the event is focused on sharing learnings from successful roster reviews.
It focuses on how to design, implement and manage new demand-led rosters that are able to respond to the changes created by evolving public demographics, emerging practices, new performance standards and employee expectations.
You can find out more and book your place here.
There were a wide range of speakers at the ALF but three key themes linked most sessions – effectively managing change, supporting wellbeing and improving employee engagement. Key takeaways in these areas were:
New models of care will create different demand. In turn this will require different ways of working and therefore new workforce planning models and approaches. Embedding resourcing systems that can facilitate re-configuration whilst supporting the workforce will be key.
Employee engagement is essential to tacking wellbeing issues. Authentic, compassionate collaboration can improve outcomes. Co-design is a crucial principal, leveraging collective insight to arrive at innovative and effective solutions that employees have ownership over.
Retention is being harmed by shift overruns that leave paramedics physically and mentally exhausted. Working patterns are a push factor causing highly-valued employees to leave the service with paramedics seeking more flexible hours.
Challenge for charity
During the event, attendees had the opportunity to use the interactive shift pattern design tool within our WORKSuite® software to see if they could design an optimised pattern within a two-minute time frame.
Around 40 delegates took part in the challenge and entries were judged by one of our expert consultants, who scored the patterns based on a range of factors including fatigue risk, work-life balance and cover.
The challenge raised £260 for TASC (The Ambulance Staff Charity) and participant Liz Harris, Head of Professional Standards at the College of Paramedics, took home a £100 Amazon voucher for her winning design.
During the event, we were proud to host an interactive panel session focused on employee engagement, empowerment and wellbeing.
Chris Makinson, Lead Consultant Ambulance Sector at Working Time Solutions, Graham Lovatt, Head of Regional Planning at NWAS, Chris Nelson at UNISON South Western Ambulance & Allied Health Branch and Wayne Bartlett-Syree, Director of Strategy & Sustainability at EEAST lead the informative discussions.
Key takeaways from the session included:
A ‘one-size-fits all’ approach doesn’t work. Innovation in areas such as relief and flexible working is key to creating equitable, attractive working conditions. Trusts need to explore new methods of managing increased fluidity.
Rosters are a vital ‘sell’ to staff, particularly when meeting the expectations of millennials who want assurance that working patterns will support their academic needs, career aspirations and social life.
Comprehensive engagement and communication is vital to remove any ambiguity around the roster review process, ensuring everyone has a chance to voice concerns or preferences and shape the solutions.
An engaged roster review process involving trade unions and employee working parties can be used as a template to successfully deliver other large-scale changes.
If you’d like to read more highlights from the Ambulance Leadership Forum 2019, you can download our full overview here.