Northwick Park Hospital
Northwick Park Hospital is the second largest hospital in the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust (NWLH). Located in Harrow, it not only services the Brent and Harrow population, but also patients that have been referred from throughout the UK and abroad – in total over half a million patients each year. Combined revenues of the Trust are in the region of £200 million with over 4,000 employees.
The portering service at Northwick Park plays a vital role in the smooth running of the hospital. Indeed many would argue it is at the heart of the organisation. With over 50 porters working three shifts, across five departments, they do much more than transporting patients.
However, because of the way the service was being run, the perception of the portering role by general staff was not always true. The porters' office was hidden away from the main building in the basement of the hospital. Jobs were logged manually using pen and paper, and reporting against SLAs was near impossible.
"The main issues needing to be resolved included better communication between departments, greater visibility of jobs logged and the ability to monitor workloads," explained Craig Stalker ex Portering Manager at Northwick Park Hospital. "Secondly we wanted to be able to produce reports that showed accurately, how the porters were meeting SLAs. If achieved, we would be able to efficiently manage the service offered, and in turn raise the role and perception of the porters within the hospital."
Working closely with FSI, Northwick Park embarked on not only a system change but a cultural change within the hospital. Through eSQL - FSI's internet enabled product that is increasingly being used in the public sector - logging and appropriate assignment of portering jobs was made possible. Specific areas were created within the system so that current general maintenance users could only see their own work. This provides privacy where necessary in accordance with the data protection act.
A soft services helpdesk was then implemented and a workable process defined. This ensures that effective responses to calls are made, and that smooth operation of the system is achieved and maintained.
Training was given by FSI to key members of staff, and later workshops were implemented by the hospital highlighting the service to all personnel and creating awareness of the service provided.
Furthermore, Crystal reports are now available to the department through eSQL and Crystal ConnectTM within Concept™, providing tangible evidence that SLAs, defined by the Trust, are
"eSQL has not only transformed the way we work but also the attitude towards Porters has changed dramatically. The transparency provided by the system means that we can now see workloads at a glance and who is doing what in each department.
"Porters are more visible around the hospital, with the porters' helpdesk being situated in the main entrance area, and the hard work they do is now being recognised across all departments. This has had a major impact on individual job satisfaction, generating a more positive attitude and even healthy competition amongst the porters."
Stalker concludes: "In addition to the day-to-day benefits this system has provided us, long term cost savings are inevitable with the helpdesk, and porters are now being managed more effectively."