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An ESR Journey at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides a full range of acute services to North Derbyshire’s population and beyond and employs more than 5,000 people to deliver these services.

In a project that started in summer 2020, the organisation worked tirelessly to hit the deadline of getting ESR set up and the workforce transferred over from their legacy system to allow the first payroll to be run in April 2021.

To ensure the project was delivered on time, a steering group was formed. Initially members met every month, and then more frequently as the project drew closer to completion. The team consisted of members from the organisation’s finance and workforce teams working alongside colleagues from the regional NHSBSA ESR team. It is a testament to how hard the team worked to achieve the successful transition from the legacy system to ESR, with all Chesterfield employees being paid via ESR in month one, with minimal issues - all during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of their roll out, Chesterfield implemented the e-recruitment interface and the junior doctor interface, making the recruitment process far more efficient than it was previously. 

From go-live, the organisation’s newly formed ESR team began adding employee email addresses into ESR, enabled employees to reset their own passwords and supported the organisation’s aim to switch off paper payslips in October 2021. This saw Chesterfield join nearly 89% of the NHS in supplying their payslips electronically only, leaving only five organisations in the East Midlands region to make the switch to online payslips and 47 nationally (as of February 2022).

To support individuals with the transition to using ESR Employee Self Service and access their payslips online, the Chesterfield ESR team held numerous ESR education sessions to promote the system and to teach people how to:

  • Log into ESR;
  • Reset their own passwords; and
  • Access payslips, be it through the ESR app or through the ESR Hub website.

Will Ogden, Chesterfield’s ESR Project Administrator, who delivered some of the education sessions, told us that he received a myriad of positive feedback about the move to online payslips. Comments saying that having payslips online is “incredibly handy”, “it is very easy to use” and the move was an “excellent” one. Will added that staff members were also pleased about the positive impact that no longer printing paper payslips has on the environment.

The education sessions paid dividends - by January 2022, 85% of staff had logged into ESR via Employee Self Service.

The payroll team has been incredibly busy transitioning activity onto ESR and have also reaped the benefits of moving to online payslips; sorting, batching, and distributing paper payslips across the organisation is now a thing of the past. This has saved the organisation administrative time and improved one aspect of Information Governance for the Trust.

Organisations can determine how many days prior to payday employees are able to access their online payslip by setting a ‘payslip offset date’ and at Chesterfield, currently, payslips are released three days ahead of payday. This allows employees access to their payslips much earlier than when they received them on paper and gives the payroll team more time to deal with queries.

As part of their move away from paper payslips, the organisation found the Implementing Online Payslips section of the ESR Hub invaluable.  The ESR Hub has a wide range of reference material and practical guidance including the benefits of moving to online payslips, guidance on mitigating myths and barriers to implementing online payslips using ESR, frequently asked questions related to implementing online payslips using ESR and, when they were ready to turn off paper payslips, they used the implementation guide to moving to online payslips alongside advice from their regional NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager.

The Future

Now that Chesterfield is using ESR, they are exploring other areas of functionality they can use to optimise the way in which they work. This is impressive given they have been using the system for less than a year.

They have ambitions to use ESR for Establishment Control, Manager Self Service and Annual Leave for non-rostered colleagues and they still hold monthly steering group meetings, which are attended by the regional NHSBSA ESR team, to plan and discuss maximising the organisation’s ESR footprint over the next 12-24 months.

Caroline Wade, Deputy Director of HR and OD, said:

The Trust is looking forward to increasing their use of ESR in the future, recognising the benefits of using management information systems to understand the workforce and support decision making.

We are delighted to have Chesterfield Royal Hospital as part of the NHS ESR family.

If your organisation is looking to maximise its use of ESR capability or if you have any queries, please contact your regional NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager. Details are available on the ESR Hub here.



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