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Solent NHS Trust move to Manager Self Service and use of Establishment Control

Solent NHS Trust has a headcount of approximately 4,500 and is the main provider of community services to people living in Portsmouth, Southampton and parts of Hampshire; providing services from over 100 clinical sites spread across the area, as well as in people’s homes..  Solent went live with Manager Self Service (MSS) with Payroll Approvals and Establishment Control in October 2020.

The organisation established a project board that met monthly, and smaller working groups that would meet once or twice a week to ensure the detail within the project plan was kept on track.

Training for MSS was initially delivered via face to face sessions by dedicated trainers; however this had to change when the coronavirus pandemic meant restrictions were put in place.  An in-house online training course was developed and added to ESR Learning Management for all managers to complete; this had the added benefit that the project team could monitor how many managers had completed the training. Local guides and process maps were created and added to the Intranet with a bitesize video to provide additional resources.

There are five members of their ESR support team, led by Laurie Hillman – ESR Systems Project Lead and this team worked with all the services within the Trust to ensure managers had the correct staff hierarchies and to ensure the correct ESR URP was provided to managers. The majority of managers had been allocated the MSS with approvals URP; however some managers were allocated Supervisor Self Service access.

Previously, Solent made Solent made all changes in core ESR based on a paper form that had been sent to the HR department. MSS has now enabled managers to undertake the following changes to their employee’s records: 

  • Change of Supervisors in the hierarchy.
  • Change hours.
  • Process leavers.
  • Change of employee information.
  • Enter appraisal dates.

Their Establishment Control project was designed to empower managers to give them the ability to take greater control and have more visibility of their budgets. This project ran alongside the MSS rollout with broadly the same timescales.  The ESR Support Team worked collaboratively with the Finance team to review the setup of positions in ESR.  This gave the team the opportunity to undertake data cleansing, closing positions that were no longer required, and remove positions that had applicants linked to them. New positions were also created where budget had been allocated but were yet to have new staff associated.

The process of cleansing the data has helped the organisation to have a clearer indication as to where the vacancies are, which in turn has helped the recruitment process across the organisation.

Solent NHS Trust has told us they have identified the following benefits from both of these projects to date:

  • Rolling out both MSS and Establishment Control together gave the Trust an opportunity to review its processes and make the working processes better. Managers have greater control of the management of their staff and department budgets:
    • Highlights vacancies and if areas over budget.
  • Transactions should be quicker and there is a reduced risk of things being missed.
  • All transactions are auditable via ESR.

Laurie Hillman
Laurie Hillman said:

Rolling out Manager Self Service and Establishment Control meant being able to streamline processes and save the organisation time.

It encourages managers to take more control of staff and be more accountable for their budgets.  Establishment Control will make it easier for managers to see where their vacancies are in their budgets.

Taking away the need for paper forms and using a fully automated system reduces our carbon footprint and the information is auditable.








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