Croydon Health Services NHS Trust launches pioneering app for increased staff engagement

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, backs launch of platform designed to help healthcare professionals manage their working lives

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has rolled out an app from Ryalto designed to improve the working and professional lives of its healthcare staff.

The trust is now offering all of its 3,800 workers access to Ryalto - a platform which enables healthcare professionals to manage their working day and acts as a safe and singular source of communication for all employees.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, was present at the launch, and talked about the positive impact apps can have on the way healthcare staff manage their working lives.

From individual staff members to the biggest organisations and NHS trusts, there are massive gains to be made from empowering and engaging staff

The trust has engaged Ryalto to improve staff engagement and explore more-effective ways of reaching them.

The traditional methods of communicating, such as newsletters and email, offer little insight and are proving dated in comparison to how people live their lives today, particularly on their mobiles.

With Ryalto’s simple content management system, communication teams now have a platform to disseminate news and information quickly, straight to staff members’ phones. They are also able to send targeted messages and critical announcements.

Matthew Kershaw, interim trust chief executive, said: “I am delighted that we have partnered with Ryalto to launch our CHS staff app for our colleagues.

“Its introduction has come at a key time when we are working hard to improve our engagement with each other across our teams and departments.

“The app is reflective of how we live our lives today - on mobiles, with flexibility and in real-time.

“It offers a key digital channel for us to communicate with each other instantly, through the chat and news feed features, increasing opportunities for engagement and fostering a closer working environment where we work together to provide the best care for our patients.”

Staff at the trust have responded positively to the app, with over 1,000 signing up in the first month alone, and over 80 pieces of news, ranging from training opportunities to staff events and recognition, shared so far.

The launch comes after figures released earlier this month from NHS Digital reveal here has been a surge in the amount of sick time taken by health staff.

At a time when stress and anxiety among NHS workers has never been higher, they continue to be driven by a passion for what they do, and need the time and space to manage their own working lives as well. Ryalto enables them to do just that

Last year NHS staff took almost 100,000 more days off due to stress than they did six years ago.

And, in acute medicine, which treats the most-serious and urgent cases, the number of sick days taken soared by 35%.

Katrina Percy, chief executive of Ryalto, said: “From individual staff members to the biggest organisations and NHS trusts, there are massive gains to be made from empowering and engaging staff.

“Giving them a closed and secure platform to talk to each other and share information when they want to, is a great way to do this, while also improving communication and workplace satisfaction.

“At a time when stress and anxiety among NHS workers has never been higher, they continue to be driven by a passion for what they do, and need the time and space to manage their own working lives as well. Ryalto enables them to do just that.”

Another challenge the hospital is looking to address via the app’s Directory feature is making it easier for colleagues to locate and keep in touch with one another, particularly as Croydon provides a range of services for people in schools, clinics, and in people’s homes, alongside acute medical care.

Via the app, staff can search for colleagues by department, speciality, areas of work and more, and then message or call them straightaway, without needing to know their phone numbers.

Ryalto’s shift booking feature also helps the trust reduce agency spend by decreasing reliance on agencies and filling more shifts from its staff bank.

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