Midlands & East of England

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,

East of England holds its first Manager Self Service Open Q&A Event

In June and July, 22 NHS organisations took part in the first Manager Self Service (MSS) open Q&A event in the East of England.

The three part event was hosted by the East of England Self Service/Recruitment Special Interest Group to look at the use of Manager Self Service and how it can benefit NHS organisations.

The first two of the sessions in this series were delivered by David De Lisle (North West Anglia NHS FT) and Laura Neligan (Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust) who shared their experiences of implementing Manager Self Service and highlighted both the challenges and benefits so that other NHS organisations could learn from their journey.

Following on from the trust led sessions, in August there was a Q&A event that was open to all organisations in the region that had an interest in MSS, giving them the opportunity to ask questions amongst their regional colleagues and peers. The joint SIG chairs, David De Lisle and Laura Neligan, who each ran one of the trust led MSS Sessions along with the regional ESR Functional Account Manager, Steven Finney, were on the ‘panel’, to provide answers and discussion on questions raised.

This was a first of its kind for the region in terms of holding an event with no set agenda, other than to invite questions from the audience. Attendees were encouraged to join the event with a prepared list of questions, to enable the event to be engaging and as useful as possible to the audience. 

Self Service within the East of England has always been relatively well used, although Manager Self Service has seen limited uptake. Steven Finney gave an overview of the region as an introduction to the session, providing details of the uptake of all levels of Self Service and the number of transactions being completed.  

As of June 2020, the regional Self Service stats showed the following:

  • Manager Self Service: 5 organisations had implemented, 2 were in progress and 11 were planned/considering.
  • Supervisor Self Service: 21 had Implemented, 6 were in Progress and 8 were planned/being considered.
  • Employee Self Service: all but one organisation have implemented ESS.

Transactions undertaken:

  • 98k changes had been made through Self Service.
  • 198k changes had been made through Core Forms.
  • 500 applicants had accessed the Applicant Dashboard and made 3200 changes.

The use of Employee and Supervisor Self Service is wide spread across the region, and the two organisation overview sessions greatly helped to demonstrate that it is functionality that should be given serious consideration.

Some lively discussion and debate

Audience participation was essential to the success of the session, and the region did not disappoint with numerous questions raised, covering all aspects of Self Service. One area of particular focus was around the Approvals Process for assignment transactions, with an in-depth discussion revealing that there is more than one way to approach this. Different approval transactions can be actioned by different teams, by reassigning the Approval Notification - for example, an increase in hours being reassigned to the Finance Team for approval. The key take away point for the audience was to ensure the system is used in a way that supports local processes and makes it simple for the user to complete what they need to do.

The misconception that Establishment Control is required in order to implement MSS was also a topic covered in the session: 

Although it is considered best practice, so as to simplify the Approvals Process, Manager Self Service is not reliant on establishment control being set up within ESR.

There were questions raised around the management of absences and whether these could be transferred in to ESR automatically from 3rd party rostering systems:

There is an interface available through the ESR Systems Integration Team that provides this functionality, which led to discussion around how the use of ESR BI Agents could help to notify the manager of Occupational Codes within the Rostering system and that the date the roster system needs to be locked down each month.

During the course of the discussion the panel were asked if MSS can be used with a 3rd party Payroll Provider:

A number of attendees in the audience confirmed that they had successfully implemented MSS using a 3rd party Payroll provider. The primary difference being they are required to run a BI report to identify any manager comments to provide the Payroll Provider with additional information - where required for certain changes.

Whilst looking at the additional benefits of MSS the use of the Property Register functionality was highlighted, as this enables managers to record information about items specific to the employee;

This was seen hugely beneficial during organisations response to the COVID crisis, where many organisations have had to move to remote working and provide equipment. It not only enables the organisation to keep track of what equipment employees have taken home, but also to record FPP Mask information on the make and models in use. You can read more information about the new Property Register item for FFP3 Face Mask in ESR Release Notice RN454 on the ESR Hub.


In Conclusion

The general feedback from attendees that took part in the sessions was very positive, with people finding it useful to listen in to the discussion and have the ability to ask questions specific to their situation. These sessions have proven to be a great way for organisations to learn from others that have successfully implemented MSS, and in particular being able to ask key questions to help them to understand what is involved. More importantly the sessions were a great way to bring people across the region together and provide some valuable peer to peer support.

Steven Finney, the NHS ESR Functional Account Manager for the East of England said …

I would highly recommend that organisations look to run more sessions like this to develop their ESR knowledge and to also build relationships.  Sessions like these can help to create a supportive network that can enable organisations to move to a position of being able to roll out Self Service and other areas of ESR functionality, smoothly and efficiently with the support of the regional NHS ESR Team.

I think all the sessions highlighted that the benefits of implementing Manager Self Service are clear to see.

More Information

The NHS ESR Regional Team is ready to support organisations with their Manager Self Service projects and the NHS ESR Implementation Advisors are an additional resource that can work closely with organisations, offering support, guidance and resources, such as PID/templates and answer Self Service hierarchy queries where needed.DYESR

Contact your NHS ESR Functional Account Manager if you would like to discuss your Manager Self Service options. 

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