City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council: Championing online scheduling

Online scheduling became a necessity for Bradford Metropolitan District Council when the introduction of enablement services meant 2,500 hours of care would need to be scheduled for up to 300 service users in a six-week period. That included 40 to 50 new cases every week. The task was a huge one, and the Council needed a solution that was going to streamline their processes and make the whole operation feasible.

BradfordMDC Case Study

Webroster and Bee proved to be just that; over seven years after the first business case for electronic rostering was presented, the team now say it’s a system they can’t do without.

Today, the team continue to recognise benefits that include saved admin time, better security, more streamlined communications and generally improved information governance.

Building a business case for online scheduling software

“We successfully built a business case for the introduction of electronic rostering, along with route mapping and call monitoring (ECM),” explained Pat Cole, Service Manager for the Bradford Enablement Support Team (BEST).

“Essentially, we recognised that the outlay for an electronic system would be significant but with the right provider and implementation, it could generate significant returns in comparison to the time-consuming paper processes we were then reliant on.

“We were looking very specifically for online scheduling software that offered good value for money, was easy to use and fitted the needs of domiciliary care. After inviting a number of providers to tender, Webroster scored the most highly according to that criteria.”

Implementing and Bee

After choosing Webroster and Bee, the Council were looking to introduce online scheduling that provided the right people with the right information, when they needed it. As a result, not only did that include introducing Webroster to their team of coordinators but it also meant rolling out new mobile phones and the Webroster app for busy field workers, Bee, to their 270 care staff.

“From the very beginning we had carefully constructed an implementation to be put in place. ” commented Pat.

Also involved in the implementation of Webroster, was home care manager Jackie Wilks, who said: “We made sure we fully tested the system, kept everything organised and opted for gradual implementation that focussed on one area at a time to reduce pressure.”

Training programmes were put into place to up skill staff in using their new mobile devices and Bee. Angela Greenhough, Home Care Manager, was instrumental to that process:

“With the right support and training we now have staff coming to us saying they can’t manage without their mobile phone and Bee and that speaks volumes for how important it is to their working day and in helping them deliver vital care.”

Improved communications

“Webroster and Bee make it much easier for us to access information. Those with access can quickly gather information regarding staff and service users, even down to their location or requirements and to answer queries straight away.

“Also, our coordinators no longer need to spend significant time on the phones telling staff of changes to their roster – they can see it all via Bee.

“It can even be useful for working with hospital wards on care delivery by providing additional information to them about medication requirements or further information on the service user who may have been admitted,” explained Jackie.

Creating a bespoke solution

During implementation, Angela worked closely with the Council’s IT project lead for Webroster to look at service delivery and how Webroster could be used to streamline processes even further. For example, Angela identified the need to provide an audit trail of where pool cars are being used and when.

“We discovered we could enter the pool cars as service users in Webroster, from there we could allocate a car to a staff member at the start of a shift. They would then use ECM to log the car in and out and our team of coordinators would be able to monitor it all. “You can adapt Webroster according to your needs and make it work for you.”

A positive impression during CQC inspections

Webroster has also helped the Council when it comes to presenting key information during the Care Quality Commissions (CQC) visit. Jackie said: “We had really positive feedback from the CQC from the perspective that Webroster provides information quickly and in one place, whether that is service user details or a notification to say when a DBS (DBS in full) needs renewing. They were very impressed by it.

“The SOS button was also required by the CQC as they wanted to see how technology could improve staff safety. With the SOS button now in place, staff know they can discreetly use Bee to send their GPS location to our coordinators who will act appropriately.”

Utilising staff in the most efficient way

Improved communications, streamlined processes and increased visibility for those with privileged access have also provided the Council with more flexibility with staff in different areas.

Angela said: “Webroster provides us with a much better overview of staff vs. downtime in different areas. We can see where extra staff are required and where there may be additional capacity, allowing us to coordinate our schedules and see where we can transfer staff to ensure we’re working as efficiently as possible.

“The fact we have Webroster and Bee in place also means we can provide additional lone worker safety measures.

“Those working the 6pm to 10pm shift are now able to complete single runs, as opposed to doubling-up, as we know they have the SOS feature and ECM, which give us a good overview of their whereabouts. In fact, because they check cars in and out, we also know they are back safely when the car they’ve been allocated are returned at the end of their shift.

“All in all this also means we’re utilising staff more efficiently as we’re able to complete more care visits and safely.”

An online rostering solution that works for you

Discover how online rostering could support your organisation – helping you to utilise staff in the most efficient way, improving your communications and streamlining your processes, just as it does for the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Request an obligation-free demo today.

Alternatively, call us on 01733 311 599 or email