Reducing the cost of mental health care.
Operating Model Design: Reduce Over-Budget Employee Costs Whilst Delivering High Standards of Care for a Leading Mental Health Care Provider in the UK
Enabling better cost control through improved planning.
One of the leading mental health care providers in the UK had a challenge.
With over 40 hospitals, the group needed to reduce over-budget employee costs whilst continuing to deliver extremely high standards of care.
Gobeyond Partners were engaged in an initial pilot to deliver successful change in a hospital specialising in child & adolescent mental health care.
No visibility – no control
Following a rapid scoping of the hospital, it was identified that the current planning was not adequate to manage staffing within budget.
Ward managers had informal paper-based shift rosters that were inaccessible and frequently out of date: staffing levels only became visible through weekly timesheets.
This lack of visibility and control led to a high dependency on agency staff to fill perceived gap in staffing levels.
The hospital was managing ‘retrospectively’ – with no opportunity for proactive daily review and adjustment.
The need for daily control precipitated the creation of a resource planning system for all wards across the hospital.
This enabled shift planning up to 6 weeks in advance. Patient, staff and budgets were captured on a single system and provided clear visual management to ensure wards were staffed cost effectively.
The new visibility of planning enabled staffing to be challenged daily by the Registered Manager and Hospital Director – allowing adjustments to be made and ensuring adherence to budgets.
Through building the system, listening to the concerns and adjusting, the resistance to transition from paper to the structured electronic planning system was quickly overcome.
Staff fully embraced the new planning system and the daily control that it brought.
‘Has made a lot of difference on how we look at our staffing, I wouldn’t want to go back to the “olden days”’
‘It provides a clear view of staffing levels for each shift and now easier to know where to allocate new staff’
Operating Model Design Delivering Improved Results
Over an eight-week period the following improvements were delivered:
- Reduction staff costs by 38%
- Staff costs now managed to budget
- Reduction in required care hours by 30%
- Reduction in patient incidents by 22%
Improved consistency of staffing enabled a more therapeutic environment with fewer hours required and reduced incidents.
Following the success of the initial pilot, the planning system was rolled out across other hospitals within the group.
‘Unit has been “homely and more therapeutic” since the reduction of staff numbers’
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