Ambition 24hours has invested over £1.5 million and 100,000 hours in the development of ICT systems to support safety and security in agency staff registration, compliance, selection and booking. The group of locum doctor and nursing agencies has one of the largest compliance teams in the UK, the company says, with over 120 staff engaged exclusively to procedures such as following up employment references and validating medical training status.
The group’s six year project to develop its Enterprise compliance system has provided the technology to enable agency consultants quickly to match the requirements of clients according to medical staff qualifications, experience and availability. Clients for the 24-7 service include NHS hospitals and primary care providers, the private health sector, prisons and care homes, insurance and other companies.
The compliance system ensures that medical and care staff can only be selected for work once they have each completed a detailed registration process. All relevant, employment, training and CRB registrations and references are confirmed by the agency, and the staff work record is checked again for each assignment. Without this validation, the Enterprise ICT system automatically excludes the candidate from selection and booking.
Every agency nurse completes a face-to-face interview to confirm the ability to read and speak English. Compliance also includes a CRB check and completion of a 23-page registration form that requires full details of career history and qualifications. Candidates also supply four work referees and original ‘right to work’, qualifications and training certificates, which are scanned and recorded in Enterprise; and also a report from the most recent employer.
Ambition 24hours has 124 staff in its compliance team, who obtain verified professional references from previous employers and carry out Occupational Health checks for fitness to work. Other tasks includes verifying professional qualifications, applying for CRB checks, and confirming mandatory training has been completed.
All compliance data is rechecked and verified by a separate quality control team. They read all references and the links to employment history; check the system keywords that workers have selected to match their experience for use in the Enterprise ICT system; then ensure all records are verified and correct. Any record that fails the required standard is sent back to the compliance team for re-examination.
The Enterprise system also supports the process of ensuring that all compliant agency staff are annually certificated for the mandatory training courses that Ambition 24hours provides either on-line or through training partners at venues nationwide. Up to 60 courses are organised every month, with some 900 candidates attending in total.
Mandatory training courses are: Basic Life Support, Manual Handling, Health & Safety, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, Infection Control, Lone Worker Training, Handling of Violence & Aggression, Data protection, Complaints Handling, Safeguarding Level 2, Fire Safety. Ambition 24hours also sources specialist training courses such as ventilation, tracheostomy, and peg feeding.
Compliance protection is maintained by recording every annual training certificate in the Enterprise system, with an upload and expiry date, which are re-checked. A daily system-generated ‘expiry report’ details the candidate, the document that will expire, and the number of days to expiry. The compliance team contacts each candidate in good time before expiry, so that they can re-register.
The pre-programmed expiry dates in the Enterprise system automatically trigger warnings and prevent the booking of candidates where annual training compliance may have lapsed. The automated process ensures that candidates are moved out of ‘Work Live’ status to prevent selection for work. Some 100 candidates each month fail the compliance process and lose their agency work status.
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