Cross-department benchmarks

At the 2014 CLWRota Forum the department statistics and cross-departmental benchmarks where presented by Dr Mark Cox of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and Dr Jason Wilson of Imperial College Healthcare.

The data used to generate the departmental benchmarks is generated from the Rota Management Console (RotaMC), part of the CLWRota service. RotaMC is a tool designed to generate reports and statistics for each department and allows fine-grained control over what data is included or included in performance reports. RotaMC is designed to help departments to better understand their month-on-month departmental performance and the achievements of individuals against their job-planned targets.

At every benchmark presentation, each department's name is replaced with a random two character code to maintain the anonymity of the department. Codes are changed for every benchmarking event, which presently happen in March and September each year to coincide with our March Training & Management events and September Forums.

Client departments are provided with detailed benchmark reports covering their activity over the preceding year or two years and how this compares to the CLWRota cohort.

Cross department trends

We plotted the mean value of various indices from the benchmark data over the last six events to see if any trends emerged.

Department activity graph

As can be seen from the data the mean of extra usage of a proportion of total department activity has risen sharply over the last three years. In the same period the proportion of solo sessions (trainee-led lists) has slightly declined.

These trends can be seen clearly in the p-charts which show a composite of the activity of all departments with at least two years of data

Department activity graph

The top chart shows solo session usage; the middle, extra usage; with study and professional leave at the bottom. The data shows that many departments have an increasing reliance on extra sessions.

Improved line charts

We have improved our line charts to now display as weekly charts so there are a lot more plot points and also to show the proportion of activity done by staff working as flexible in week and flexible in year by shading in an area underneath the normal consultant delivered sessions. This should help departments who are moving to more flexible working gauge what proportion of activity is being done this way.

Department activity graph

Trainee usage

A particular focus of our data analysis is the usage of trainees.

Below is our usual cross-departmental box plot of the proportion of solo sessions (trainee led lists) over the total department activity.

Department activity graph

A funnel plot of solo sessions over total department activity also shows department size.

Department activity graph

The funnel plot shows that department size does not correlate to the proportion of solo lists. There is no discernable correlation between the size of a department and its use of trainee-led lists.

A plot of the standard deviation of solo lists against department size was used to determine if larger departments have a greater or lesser variability in the number of trainee led lists on a week-to-week basis.

Department activity graph

The result of this analysis shows that the size of a department does not correspond to greater or lesser variability. This conclusion was not expected as it was considered likely that larger teaching hospitals would offer a more stable proportion of solo and supervised lists to trainees.


Analysis in this area is designed to assist departments in understanding the make-up of their service delivery.

Department activity graph

The department above shows an increase in the amount of activity over the two year period. In the first 12 months activity achieved (the purple line) was slightly above planned (the blue line) but over the second 12 months the gap has broadened and achieved activity is now significantly higher than planned. The bottom half of the chart reveals that most of the planned activity (the fixed blue line) is made up by normal consultant delivered sessions (the red line) and the extra activity is largely being done by trainees as solo sessions and as paid for extra activity (the green line).


For the purposes of these graphs 'normal activity' is defined as sessions provided by a consultant or a middle grade where they are working at normal rate. 'All activity' is defined as normal activity, plus trainee's working on solo sessions, plus extra activity, plus locum activity.

If you would like any further information on how this data was compiled please contact the CLWRota team via or call the office on 020 7631 1555.

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