Cloud scheduling software is helping to build better, data-enabled community services across 162 teams
The new software helps to better manage district nurses' time and ensure the right practioner for each patient
All seven health boards within NHS Wales have partnered with software provider, Civica, as they continue to roll out the Welsh Levels of Care (WLoC) acuity tool across the country.
Civica has integrated the WLoC tool into its Scheduling software, helping to quickly assign district nursing caseloads based on patient need, clinical skill, and location.
WLoC is a national acuity and dependency tool, coproduced by thousands of frontline district nurses from across NHS Wales.
The aim is to provide a consistent and standardised approach to enable nurses to assess the patients they care for in the community.
When considered alongside quality indicators and professional judgement, the tool can be used to inform decisions regarding the deployment of community nurses and ensure the right number and skill mix of staff to meet the individual needs of patients.
Nurses can also use the system to see what their demand is and whether they have the capacity to meet this.
This has helped provide evidence in some areas for the need for additional resources for the service, alongside reviews of skill mix and developing new roles such as assistant practitioners.
In addition, the system offers better continuity of care for the patient and families as it can start to match nurses, not only on skills, but also on preferences such as language including provision of care from Welsh speakers to patients where Welsh is their first language.
With the WLoC tool built in, Civica’s Scheduling cloud software automatically matches clinical care with patient needs, enabling clinicians to see their schedules via an app, manage their time better, and spend more time with patients.
The software is already used across the entire Wales district nursing service of 162 teams.
Chiquita Cusens, national lead nurse for primary and community care within the Strategic Programme for Primary Care, Wales, said: “The Civica platform can show a patient’s acuity and dependence, which can then be matched against the best member of the district nursing team.
“This ensures patients receive the right care in a timely way.
“Improved scheduling also supports our green agenda via reduction in travel, which is also vital now with the increased pressure on living costs.
“We can optimise route planning so people don’t end up far from home, supporting our nurses’ personal circumstances.”
Nathan Gasco, divisional managing director at Civica Health and Care, added: “This is an opportunity to have a fuller data picture about what district nursing services are doing on an all-Wales basis.
“If you have that data and intelligence at your fingertips, it can inform more-comprehensive and swift decisions regarding the deployment of nursing staff; ultimately providing the best care in the community in the most-effective way.”