Programme news

General Pharmaceutical Council joins the ESR Professional Bodies Interface

In December 2021 the Professional Bodies interface began processing records for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). 

An ESR interface has been processing updates to ESR records for professionals registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the General Dental Council (GDC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for several years. There are approximately 26,000 registered pharmacy professionals, defined as Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, recorded in ESR, employed across 332 NHS organisations. The addition of the GPhC to the existing Professional Bodies interface ensures that all of these employing authorities are kept informed about registration changes for pharmacy professionals, as they are with other professionals. As a result of the implementation in December 2021, the 26,000 records within ESR were checked and updated where appropriate.

Data from the GPhC register is used to verify the professional registration details of applicants and employees already recorded in ESR and to advise the appropriate individuals at employer level of any changes to those registration details. This facilitates accurate employment check information for applicants and compliance and safe clinical practice of Pharmacy professionals employed within the NHS.

Enabling Proactive Management of GPHC Professional Registration Records

Deployment of the interface saves trusts time in managing records and notifies them of changes that they may otherwise be unaware of, or would require additional manual activity to check.

Automatic Updates of the Professional Registration Record

Key changes to the GPhC record, such as Registration Status and Fitness to Practice issues, are updated within ESR by the interface capability - following a change to the GPhC Register. Employing Organisations can benefit from a number of automatic daily updates to the following data items, where the information is not already reflected in ESR.

Notifications direct to ESR users

Where the ESR ‘Pharmacy Prof Registration’ role holder has been assigned, the following notifications are received to assist with managing ESR records for pharmacy professionals.

Update Notification

Where a full match is made on the matching criteria when comparing the ESR person record with the Professional Body details, the ESR Professional Body record is updated, and a notification is sent to the role holder highlighting the new details. These notifications will be colour coded in Red, Amber and Green to easily highlight the urgency of each update. Full details can be found in the GPhC FAQ here.

Matching criteria for GPhC: Professional Registration Number, First Name and Last Name.

Decision Notification

Where there is a mismatch on First Name or Last Name, but the Professional registration number matches, this notification is sent to the role holder asking them to confirm whether the details for the person are correct.  If the role holder accepts the match, then the Professional Registration changes are applied to the Professional Registration record.

Data Cleanse Notification

In addition to the Update Notification and the Decision Notification, a Workflow notification is generated weekly which lists invalid, erroneous and incorrectly assigned registration numbers. The notification lists registration numbers that have been found to have an invalid format or assigned to incorrect individual(s). The receiver of the notification is asked to check with the GPhC Public Register and update any registrant information as appropriate.

Registrations Expiry Notification

In line with the other professional bodies, GPhC registrants and their supervisor’s benefit from the existing Registration Expiry Notifications. Please refer to the ESR-NHS0060 – Workflow Notifications Guide for full details.

Where can I find more information?

The FAQ document is available on the ESR Hub.

The ESR User Manual (accessible via the ESR Hub) has also been updated to reflect the addition of the GPhC.

The GPhC has a wealth of information on their website which may assist users and the register is publicly available. The link to their website is here:

If you need the assistance of the NHSBSA ESR Team, please raise a Service Request on the ESR Service Desk where a member of the Support Team will be more than happy to help.

Modernising ESR Integration Services to deliver benefits to Recruiters

Every year ESR successfully processes more than 250,000 applications for new starters and over 1.2 million individual employment check updates.

This information is transferred into ESR from external recruitment services, via our automated links, known as the e-Recruitment Interfaces. These interfaces link with services such as NHS Jobs and help recruiters by automatically creating applicant records for new starters and updating their employment check records within ESR, saving the NHS valuable time and money.  

Delivering Innovation results in Savings for the NHS  

To modernise and innovate our technical solutions the NHSBSA Workforce Services Teams have been running a programme of activities to enhance ESR e- Recruitment integration services. NHSBSA Workforce Services manage the ESR and NHS Jobs service on behalf of the NHS. These improvements also help support the rollout of the new NHS Jobs Service and other recruitment systems providers.

The ESR and NHS Jobs services are heavily integrated by the e-Recruitment Interfaces, exchanging applicant and employment checks information on an hourly basis, meaning that all enhancements which improve ESR, or NHS Jobs naturally results in mutual benefits.  

It is anticipated at the end of this programme of activities, the changes will deliver the following benefits:

  • Saving the NHS approximately £2.9 million per year by reducing the recruitment teams’ time and effort when processing applications and capturing employment checks.
  • Delivering a 99% performance improvement on processing time for applicant and employment checks within ESR, with updates that have previously taken hours to complete, now taking just seconds!
  • Providing an early response to the feedback gathered during the recent ESR Discovery project - where stakeholders told us they felt improved integration services between ESR, and other NHS workforce systems was key.  
  • Supporting strategies such as the NHS People Plan and Enabling Staff Movements.

Steps to Success

The major milestones in the ESR e Recruitment service modernisation programme are illustrated in the image below; highlighting that Milestones 1 and 2 are already complete:  

The next steps within the programme will focus on the final stages of delivering technical API capability within ESR (Milestone 3) and then planning for the migration of all legacy e-Recruitment services to the end to end API within Milestone 4.  

Benefits Realisation

Lynn Scott, NHS Jobs Senior Service Delivery Manager said, the joint ESR and NHS Jobs programme benefits are already being demonstrated, commenting:

The opportunities delivered by Milestones 1 and 2 are already being highlighted by private beta partners of the new NHS Jobs service, with them confirming that they are seeing tangible benefits, where we have refined the business processes between ESR and NHS Jobs. Key stakeholders at Liverpool Heart and Chest Foundation Trust have reported that managers are already able to add vacancies to the new system with minimal support or handholding from recruitment teams,” adding:

“The recruitment team are now receiving fewer queries as managers have  greater visibility of the process on this system. This has also freed up some much-needed time for the Resourcing Officers to spend on their candidates.


Looking to the future 

With the delivery of a full API service for e-Recruitment firmly in sight, it is anticipated that further benefits will be delivered to the wider NHS by the NHSBSA Workforce Services Teams.

Lynn Scott outlines how the NHS Jobs service will continue to evolve:  

The NHSBSA team has built and are iterating the new NHS Jobs platform based on feedback from our users, and throughout the project we will continue to seek feedback to ensure that we deliver a service that’s fit for purpose, future proof and meets the needs of recruiters and managers. We’ll continue to measure the benefits of the end-to-end ESR and NHS Jobs integration.


David Booth, NHS ESR Head of Systems Integration, describes how plans are already taking shape to support the move to the new technology, assuring users that:

The e-Recruitment interfaces are available to all suppliers of recruitment systems, and engagement is already underway with key stakeholders from suppliers that have expressed an interest. This means that Employing Organisations using other recruitment systems than NHS Jobs will also have the opportunity to achieve the 99% processing improvement for their applicants and employment checks, contributing to additional savings for the NHS.


Firm timelines for the migration activities for all suppliers will be shared in a future edition of ESR News. 

If you would like further information about the ESR and NHS Jobs integration, please contact your NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager or the NHSBSA Jobs Team. 

Welsh language portal goes live on ESR

The Electronic Staff Record for NHS Wales staff is now available to view in both Welsh and English.

A 4-month collaborative project between NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership and the ESR teams within NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) and IBM during the autumn of 2021 has resulted in the ability to view and transact certain ESR tasks in the medium of Welsh via the ESR portlets. 

NHS Wales organisations have a statutory duty to comply with the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and the Welsh Language Standards that outline the obligations of all NHS organisations in the delivery of Welsh language services and facilitating the use of the Welsh language within NHS Wales.

Work on the portlets commenced in September 2021 and following extensive translation work, the portlets were developed and quality assured prior to launch in December 2021.   

The feedback on this progressive development has been encouraging to date.

Knowing that the ESR portal is now bilingual is a great help. Seeing bilingual systems like this is important and staff are able to choose without asking.  This is a significant step forward to promote the proactive offer internally within NHS Wales. To be able to see the Welsh language existing, consistent and on an equal level with English gives it fair status.

J.Williams, Velindre University NHS Trust


Since I started my working life, I have had to deal with HR matters in my second language, which is English. This has been difficult at times, especially when dealing with work related matters that have been quite stressful.  Not having the option of discussing matters through the medium of Welsh has added to the stress. With the development of a Welsh ESR, it shows that I am now welcome to use my first language.

A.Williams, C&VUHB

It’s really encouraging to have the ESR portal available in Welsh.  It’s a significant development and a step in the right direction.  It demonstrates that NHS Wales respects my language of choice, and that I have the freedom to use my language of choice.  It is important to recognise Welsh language users and to ensure that the Welsh language is not treated less favourably than English.

E.Jenkins, DHCW

Making the ESR interface available in Welsh is a significant development for our Welsh speaking workforce. For many of our staff who speak Welsh, Welsh is their first language, and as such, the language in which they feel most comfortable operating and communicating. We look forward to further developing the functionality of ESR in the Welsh language.

N.Ellis, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Porth y Gymraeg yn mynd yn fyw ar ESR

Mae'r Cofnod Staff Electronig (ESR) ar gyfer staff GIG Cymru bellach ar gael i'w weld yn Gymraeg ac yn Saesneg.

Mae prosiect cydweithredol 4-mis rhwng Partneriaeth Cydwasanaethau GIG Cymru, a’r timau ESR o fewn Awdurdod Gwasanaethau Busnes y GIG (NHSBSA) ac IBM yn ystod hydref 2021 wedi arwain at y gallu i weld a thrafod rhai tasgau ESR yn Gymraeg drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg drwy byrth ESR.

Mae gan sefydliadau GIG Cymru ddyletswydd statudol i gydymffurfio â Mesur y Gymraeg (Cymru) 2011 a Safonau’r Gymraeg sy’n amlinellu oblygiadau holl sefydliadau’r GIG o ran darparu gwasanaethau Cymraeg a hwyluso’r defnydd o’r Gymraeg o fewn GIG Cymru.

Dechreuodd y gwaith ar y pyrth ym mis Medi 2021 ac yn dilyn gwaith cyfieithu helaeth, datblygwyd y pyrth, a sicrhawyd ansawdd cyn eu cyhoeddi ym mis Rhagfyr 2021.

Mae'r adborth ar y datblygiad blaengar hwn wedi bod yn galonogol hyd yma.


Mae gwybod bod porth ESR bellach yn ddwyieithog yn help mawr. Mae gweld systemau dwyieithog fel hyn yn bwysig ac mae staff yn gallu dewis heb ofyn. Mae hwn yn gam sylweddol ymlaen i hyrwyddo’r cynnig rhagweithiol yn fewnol o fewn GIG Cymru. Mae gallu gweld y Gymraeg yn bodoli, yn gyson ac ar yr un lefel â’r Saesneg yn rhoi statws teg iddi.

J.Williams, Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Prifysgol Felindre


Ers i mi ddechrau fy mywyd gwaith, rwyf wedi gorfod delio gyda materion AD yn fy ail iaith, sef Saesneg. Mae hyn wedi bod yn anodd ar adegau, yn enwedig wrth ymdrin â materion yn ymwneud â gwaith sydd wedi bod yn dipyn o straen. Mae peidio cael yr opsiwn o drafod materion trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg wedi ychwanegu at y straen.  Gyda datblygiad ESR Cymraeg, mae’n dangos bod croeso i mi ddefnyddio fy mamiaith bellach.

A.Williams, Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Caerdydd a’r Fro


Mae’n galonogol iawn cael y porth ESR ar gael yn Gymraeg. Mae’n ddatblygiad arwyddocaol ac yn gam i’r cyfeiriad cywir. Mae’n dangos bod GIG Cymru yn parchu fy newis iaith, a bod gennyf y rhyddid i ddefnyddio fy newis iaith. Mae’n bwysig cydnabod defnyddwyr y Gymraeg a sicrhau nad yw’r Gymraeg yn cael ei thrin yn llai ffafriol na’r Saesneg.

E.Jenkins, Gofal a Iechyd Digidol Cymru


Mae sicrhau bod rhyngwyneb ESR ar gael yn Gymraeg yn ddatblygiad arwyddocaol i’n gweithlu sy’n siarad Cymraeg. I lawer o'n staff sy'n siarad Cymraeg, Cymraeg yw eu hiaith gyntaf, ac o'r herwydd, yr iaith y maent yn teimlo'n fwyaf cyfforddus yn gweithredu a chyfathrebu ynddi. Edrychwn ymlaen at weld ymarferoldeb ESR yn cael ei ddatblygu ymhellach yn y Gymraeg.

N.Ellis, Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Aneurin Bevan



ESR Education – a new way of working

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ESR Education team had to follow government guidelines and cease all face-to-face education delivery. Whilst this presented new challenges it also gave the team the opportunity to look at alternative ways to continue to train ESR professional service users.

Working with the NHSBSA ESR team, the Education team developed a plan to deliver some courses by webinar and move those courses with low attendance to e-learning.

The webinars proved to be successful; many ESR professional service users were working remotely and by giving them the opportunity to continue to develop their knowledge and skills of ESR, the ESR Education team had found a winning formula.

The success of both webinar and e-learning methods of delivery enabled the team to begin to plan the post-pandemic education delivery and in collaboration with ESR users - in a series of focus groups, feedback was gathered that enabled the ESR team to deliver further improvements to user education.

The focus groups highlighted that smaller, targeted/ad-hoc educational webinars would be beneficial in all areas of ESR. Delivery of these ad-hoc webinars commenced in October 2021, with an initial focus on payroll hot topics.

Both the formal and ad-hoc courses have been received positively - with excellent attendance as highlighted in the comparison data below – over 230% increase in the number of delegates reached by delivering ESR education in this way.

Education Attendance Year

Number of Delegates





The focus groups also highlighted that both the BI and OLM courses, whilst working well via webinar, worked better when delegates had the opportunity for practice and networking. With this information, and following the recent lifting of restrictions, the ESR Education Team is pleased to announce that face-to-face education will recommence in June 2022, at the Warwick site - a User Notice will be distributed in May 2022 with dates and joining instructions.

The ESR Education team will continue to review the education being delivered, using feedback from ESR users, SRs, IBM CRMs, NHSBSA ESR team and the Education team to ensure delivery continues to meet user needs.

If you are reading this and think there is something missing from the ESR education offering that you or your colleagues would like to see covered, please contact your IBM CRM or NHSBSA ESR team Functional Account Manager - all feedback and ideas are welcome.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those users who took part in the focus groups and who took time out of their working day to assist the ESR Education team in making these latest changes to the Education offering such a success.

A Spotlight on ESR Data Quality

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – Data Quality Transformation Success

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has undergone a significant transformation over the past two years to provide an enviable platform of workforce insight that underpins our strategic, tactical, and operational workforce planning.

To support our transformation, we undertook several initiatives to enhance our data integrity, starting with ESR. In February 2019, our Trust ranked 302 out of 423 Trusts with a score of 8,635 in the WoVen rankings, so we were clear on our starting position. With this in mind, Penny Wright, our Head of Workforce Planning, Information & Resourcing, set the challenging task for us to achieve number #1 rank in the region and number #1 rank nationally.   

Joanne Penfold, ESR Lead told us:

I began to analyse the key areas for improvement and worked with colleagues in other departments to identify the challenges. This was not a small task, so I needed to draw on my subject matter expertise and understanding of ESR to pilot changes through education, training, and system adjustments. The analysis guided our focus to improving the data we had captured for new starters e.g., sexual orientation, ethnic origin, and disability.

I contacted colleagues directly and where necessary, via their manager to capture any additional data such as unknown email addresses.  I encouraged and supported them by explaining that as an equal opportunities employer it was vital to capture this information for all employees. Other initiatives also helped to improve the data held, such as reducing coding errors.


Within 12 months, the Trust started to see a significant improvement in the ranking, moving up 256 places, to 46 out of 423 Trusts by February 2020. As the project continued, the WoVEN ranking was promoted across the Trust, which helped Joanne to generate a real desire across the organisation to achieve #1 in the national rankings. The Nationality field was finally populated for all staff by March 2020, and this pushed ESHT ‘over the line’. ESHT achieved the coveted No.1 spot in July 2021 led by Joanne Penfold and supported by her team, Recruitment, Medical Staffing, ESHT EDI Lead and the operational teams.

Huge congratulations, a massive achievement – very proud of you. Fabulous work!

Chief People Officer


Well done all #proud.

Chief Nurse


That is brilliant news! Congratulations to everyone involved.



Well done, Joanne. This is a really great achievement by your team. You do ESHT proud.

Non-Exec Director


Joanne continued:

At ESHT, we continue to strive to maintain top rankings and are proud of the audits now in place to deliver a high level of confidence in our data integrity and accuracy. As an integrated Trust undergoing significant transformation, we continue to experience significant changes, however robust processes, web-based forms, and stringent audits play a key role in our delivery. What we are most proud of at East Sussex Healthcare Trust is a collective desire to deliver excellence in everything we do.


 How Trust data quality helps Health Education England

Having access to a broad spectrum of relevant and accurate ESR data helps Health Education England (HEE) to deliver on its mandate to ensure we train the right people with the right skills to be in the right place at the right time. Training insufficient numbers leads to a gap between demand and supply of staff, which drives costs up as locums and agency staff are hired to close that gap. High vacancy rates can place an extra strain on the existing workforce which in turn could drive up sickness and absence due to stress along with increased turnover rates and retention problems; all of which quickly develops into a vicious circle of events which is hard to break. 

Training too many can cause recruiting problems in the future, along with reputational issues for both the Universities and the health service. Training pipelines for the clinical professions in the NHS are complex and long, making it harder to recover from a shortfall or a mistake caused by poor data quality. 

As a service we need to be able to look-into the future and plan accurately for the recruitment and training of our workforce - who will join the service and carry the baton of responsibility for delivering health care to the population.  Ultimately, it is the service user who will suffer if we get it wrong.  We mustn’t let poor data quality be the cause.

Simon Orr

Applied Workforce Planning Lead

Workforce Education Transformation Team

HEE South East


How can Self Service help your data quality?

ESR Employee Self Service enables employees and applicants to review and update their data at source. 

The My ESR Employee Dashboard provides the My Personal Information and My Equality and Diversity portlets:

Your local ESR Portal Administrator can add portlets to the various ESR Dashboards. 


For more information regarding the WoVEn report, and to download the WoVEn England / Wales organisation rankings and scores reports, please go to the NHS Digital website.


The ESR BI > NHS ESR Data Quality Dashboard provides a comprehensive suite of data quality tests.  These are intended to help organisations identify missing or incorrect information.


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