Rotamap 2018 autumn event

Rotamap's 2018 Autumn event took place at The Stanley Building, King's Cross on Friday 28 September.

Daniela Cossio and Luke Housego from the Rotamap team began the event with an engaging introduction centred around the event’s core theme: operational effectiveness. Taking inspiration from Taiichi Ohno’s ‘Toyota Production System: beyond large scale production’, and drawing on his ‘just-in-time’ methodology, Daniela defined this concept as the uninterrupted flow of a system. Luke then discussed how achieving flow finds it root in teamwork and the effective passing of information, with poor flow resulting in waste. In the context of healthcare, this should create a flexible workforce: people who are experts in their field but flexible to meet demand.

Our first guest speaker was Lawrence Ashelford, a fellow in Healthcare Management at the University of Cambridge, who delivered an interesting talk on rotas and their potential for data usage, particularly in the context of CQC inspections. His talk sparked much discussion on the conflict between the future of medicine and the ongoing staffing crisis within the NHS, highlighting the disparity which lies between pursuing patient led care and fulfilling expectations for CQC inspections. He suggested that data from rotas could form part of a collaborative movement towards making sense of these conflicts.

Jacob Kirk from the Rotamap team then showed how operational effectiveness can be measured through Rotamap's periodic per-department service reports. His reflections fed in to discussions on capacity, for example, and how service reports can help to pinpoint areas through which operational effectiveness could be improved.

Corrina Davies, Anaesthetic department Manager from Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, went on to present her own experience of CLWRota. She discussed her desire to know more about annual and seasonal variation in rostering, and made some excellent suggestions as to how the systems could provide further insight and allow her to take a more proactive standpoint in future.

Luke and Daniela from Rotamap introduce the day

Luke and Daniela from Rotamap introduce the day

Tom Bermejo and Peter Barwick of Rotamap then went on to present recent improvements made to both Medirota and CLWRota. These included changes that make it easier and faster to update the rota, and highlighted how more supplementary information is now available to better inform decisions of rota coordinators. Among these were improvements made to messaging, including push messaging for which there was a video demonstration. Tom also highlighted how he had been working to improve Rotamap’s internal process for generating reports, tying in to the theme for the day.

Neil Hobson (Newcastle upon Tyne Teaching Hospitals) discussed his own experience of implementing Medirota in Audiology. He drew effective comparisons between life in the department before and after using Medirota, highlighting in particular how sharing information with the ENT rota directly informs how Audiology measure demand and their subsequent provision of resources.

The final talks of the afternoon came from various members of the Rotamap team, with Rachel Christie and Brian Mendoza discussing flexible working, inspired by Rotamap’s Australian clients. The flexi feature will cover both flexible in a year and flexible in a week working patterns, as well as resourcing over discrete time periods. Discussions then moved on to Ed Schroeder’s ongoing work on central reporting and his aims to facilitate information flow from departments to various external services and central teams, while Emma Ledwood discussed her plans to launch a Job planning service. These talks were met with engaging feedback to suggest Rotamap’s current projects will be of benefit to a great number of users.

The day concluded by returning to the theme of Operational Effectiveness; highlighting the challenging nature of improving processes, which are fundamentally immaterial. We emphasised how Rotamap continues to strive to do so, for example through All Doctor Rostering which has allowed Rotamap to work more intimately with trusts to improve processes such as inter-department communications, reporting to central teams and compliance controls.

The day wrapped up with a support clinic for clients and an informal chat over drinks. If you would like to attend our next event, please contact


The agenda for the event was as follows:

  1. Welcome and introduction

    Luke Housego and Daniela Cossio-Martinez, Rotamap

  2. Inspecting for quality: Operational effectiveness and the potential for data usage

    Lawrence Ashelford, Fellow in Healthcare Management, University of Cambridge

  3. Understanding service reports and data

    Jacob Kirk, Rotamap

  4. Operational effectiveness

    Corrina Davies, Directorate Manager, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  5. New features

    Peter Barwick and Tomas Bermejo, Rotamap

  6. Implementing Medirota – an Audiological Tale

    Neil Hobson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals

  7. Flexi improvements

    Brian Mendoza and Rachel Christie, Rotamap

  8. Central reporting

    Ed Schroeder, Rotamap

  9. Job planning

    Emma Ledwood, Rotamap

  10. Operational effectiveness