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George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust – Journey to Manager Self Service

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust (GEH) provides hospital and community based services to more than 300,000 people and has a headcount of around 2500.  GEH went live with Manager Self Service (MSS) with approvals in April 2020.

GEH implemented MSS to streamline and improve their processes, and give their managers greater control over their staff. Prior to implementing MSS, GEH used Easy eForms.  Managers would enter changes into Easy and Payroll would then manually input them into ESR.  Moving to MSS removed this duplication of effort as manager changes are automatically entered into ESR following approval from the Workforce Team.  Removal of the Easy system saved GEH £7,000 per year, as well as the removal of data entry from their Payroll supplier which also resulted in a further cost saving.  Incorrect and over payments due to late input of changes were also an issue, the Workforce Information Manager, Sandra Hayes, calculated a significant amount of overpayments had been made in one quarter alone.

To rollout MSS, the Trust developed a campaign called ‘Own It!’ – a message that would engender a sense of empowerment for employees; ensuring their own information is correct, and to managers; giving them greater control of their staffing information and allowing them to manage.  GEH adopted a phased approach, implementing MSS within a three month timeframe, initially using it for absence input only, and then progressing to utilisation of the majority of MSS functionality for assignment changes, such as hours’ changes and transfers.  Four members of the Workforce Team were responsible for the rollout alongside their usual day job, no additional resources were provided.

An oversight group was established which was made up of several staff groups including Staff Side, IG, Learning, Finance, eRostering, Medical Staffing, HR, IT and RA Team for Smartcard distribution.  A lot of engagement with IT was necessary to ensure that all relevant PCs were tested and updated to enable ESR to be accessed and complied with the MM-0100 guidance.  A detailed rollout plan was developed which focused upon rolling out MSS throughout GEH one department at a time, starting with IT and HR and helpfully most issues were identified from the initial first two groups that went live.

To build the staff hierarchy, the Workforce Team met with managers to understand their set up, ensuring things such as shared responsibilities and additional supervisors were accounted for. Each ESR Workforce team member worked exclusively with a Directorate, this helped them to become familiar with their ‘go to contact’. This approach worked well and it even became a bit of a competition to get each area live!   To ensure MSS works successfully, GEH knew the importance of ongoing supervisor hierarchy maintenance, so a monthly check is performed to ensure all individuals have supervisors. 

Training for MSS was initially delivered in auditoriums where managers were also supplied with information packs which provided links to ESR Education as well as bespoke GEH leaflets.  The COVID Pandemic meant this had to change and training sessions are now undertaken via MS Teams; this approach is also used for ongoing support.  A generic email help box has been set up to handle queries on an ongoing basis.

The main benefits of MSS for GEH, notwithstanding the cost savings and removal of duplication of effort as identified earlier, are many including;

  • Employee empowerment - employees are able to see their change has been performed by their manager in a correct and timely manner, making the process more open and transparent.
  • Managers are also able to manage better – giving them visibility of compliance, learning, appraisal, absence information and lots more.
  • There is no lost paperwork, and as MSS is fully auditable via the Change Event Log BI report which shows when the change was entered, by whom and the approver etc., organisations can view the whole story so issues can be resolved quicker.
  • Managers have more time for quality activities – when previously using Easy, at the end of month managers would be under pressure to enter all changes, now they are able to enter changes throughout the month via MSS they no longer have the end of month rush.
  • Absence reporting is now much more accurate and current. Previously absence reporting was always two months behind, but as managers now input absence as it happens, which is imperative for COVID reporting, reports can be run at the beginning of the month for the previous month.

Next on GEH’s ESR journey is to rollout Appraisals replacing the requirement for paper, as well as for managers to start doing their own reporting to monitor more closely changes in the workforce, such as non-compliance, staying up to date with professional registration and being able to plan their workforce.

Kerry Rooke, NHS ESR Functional Account Manager for GEH said...

GEH were very clear right from the outset on their plan which ensured they met their tight deadlines.  Their strategy to ‘keep it simple’, assigning Manager Self Service to all instead of a mixture of Supervisor and Manager Self Service URPs worked well for them during implementation, and continues to work well for ongoing maintenance.  Their choice to use the majority of MSS functionality has benefited them greatly, giving managers the ability to make pay impacting changes, with visibility to the employee, greatly reducing incorrect and over payments.

Watch out for the Case Study about George Elliot’s journey to implement Manager Self Service in the coming weeks.DYESR

If you want to know more about how Manager Self Service can support for workforce strategy visit our Discover your ESR website or contact your NHS ESR Regional Account Manager,


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