Winter Planning – Staffing and Rotas

You are the people that know your business best and this is because of your experience and therefore, you will be aware of what sort of increased pressures and risks you can expect to encounter over winter in relation to staffing in particular.

We have been blogging about the need for you to have a robust Business Continuity Plan in place for this winter period and such a plan should include the mitigation to resolve staffing issues.

We’d encourage you to carefully consider your Business Continuity Plans for the following situations:

  • Staff sickness – what would you do if an epidemic sickness hit your staff?  How would you still manage to cover all of your care calls?
  •  Staff absence – what if a member of staff unexpectedly doesn’t pick up their usual hours over winter? Can you rework the rounds/rotas to cover? Do you have other staff you can call in to cover their shifts? Are you able to build a ‘bank’ of staff prepared to cover additional shifts?
  • Extreme weather – what are your plans should roads get snowy or icy? Do you know where gritting routes are (please see previous posts)? What if a member of staff gets stuck out on a call or can’t come in to work?

Start now by looking at your workload and rounds, can these be made more efficient?  Which calls are time critical and which could be moved if you were short staffed?  Which support workers support people where more travel time needs to be allocated if the roads are icy or wet?

The Norfolk Resilience Forum has a useful flu pandemic scenario you can use to test your business continuity plans to make sure they are up-to-date.  It will help you think about how you could manage your workload and rounds with fewer staff.

            Have a plan; Test it works; keep it up-to-date