Programme news

ESR supporting the NHS: People Plan for 2020/2021 – action for us all

NHS People Plan 2020/21 Front Cover

The NHS People Plan sets out actions to support transformation across the whole NHS, focusing on how we must all continue to look after each other and foster a culture of inclusion and belonging, as well as action to grow our workforce, train our people, and work together differently to deliver patient care. ’The principles underpinning the action through 2020/21 must endure beyond that time’.

The NHS People Plan reinforces that the NHS needs to embrace new ways of working which is supported by technology and ensures that NHS organisations have a strong focus on looking after their people.

The People Plan sets out a roadmap of how the NHS will;

  • Overhaul recruitment and promotion practices
  • Highlight existing and deep-rooted inequalities
  • Tackle bullying and harassment
  • Increase flexible and remote working
  • Improve Talent Management
  • Expand e-Learning

Recruitment and promotion practices

ESR is a key partner in delivering the national Enabling Staff Movement Programme.  ESR provides functionality that enables staff to easily move from one NHS organisation to another, leading to a more mobile, flexible and agile workforce. This supports recruitment for Doctors in Training as well as wider NHS recruitment.

  • Enabling a more robust new starter process with reduced repeated administration;
  • Enabling employment records to be updated online instead of using paper forms;
  • Having an on-boarding process that is efficient and professionally managed;
  • Having previous training and skills records recognised and transferred;

Equality & Diversity and Bullying & Harassment

ESR can play a key role in highlighting existing inequalities – or equally, demonstrating they do not exist.  Equality and diversity information (including ethnic origin) for all staff is held within ESR, and can be monitored and reported on at any time using Business Intelligence reporting.  (This also meets a requirement for the Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES) and Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES).

The People Plan sets out to ensure that all employers are responsible for preventing and tackling bullying, harassment and abuse against their staff.  ESR Employee Relations functionality records information relating to grievances, disciplinary and capability.

Flexible and remote working

Currently ESR communicates part time working requirements for Doctors in Training through its link with Health Education England. In addition, from December 2020 ESR will further support flexible working by including the ability for NHS employees to request a change to more flexible working via Employee Self Service, enabling employees and their managers to agree flexible working arrangements. 

From working in partnership with NHS England & Improvement, two new competencies have been developed within ESR that allow employees to add ‘Working Carer’ and ‘Working Carer Passport Holder’ to their records (with manager approval). 

Improving Talent Management

Talent Management is key to ensuring there is greater prioritisation and consistency of diversity in talent being considered for senior NHS roles. The Talent Management functionality within ESR provides organisations with capability to manage and monitor the careers of their employees.

Expanding e-Learning

ESR provides an online e-Learning platform for all NHS staff.  By utilising ESR Employee Self Service NHS employees can access over 1,000 free e-Learning programmes. 

DYESRYou can read the full ESR Supporting the NHS; People Plan for 2020/2021 – action for us all by visiting 

Introducing the My Applicant Details portlet

Following on from our article in the September edition of ESR News, about how a number of Trusts in the North West and Yorkshire have used the ESR Applicant Dashboard during the COVID-19 pandemic to speed up recruiting of additional staff, in this month's edition we focus on the latest enhancement to the dashboard - the My Applicant Details portlet.

The Applicant Dashboard allows future employees access to the information held about them, with the ability to confirm this is accurate or update and provide further details where amendments are needed prior to starting their employment.

screenshot of the applicant dashboard

The information about the applicant is taken from source data wherever possible to maintain accuracy and integrity. This means that the information displayed to the applicant when they login to the portal is predominantly that which they have already entered and which is subsequently transferred either through the recruitment system interface or taken from the previous NHS employments using the Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) process.

A recent new addition to the ESR Applicant Dashboard was the introduction of the My Applicant Details portlet. This new portlet has a step-by-step process flow taking the applicant through key items which are required as part of the recruitment process, including the confirmation or correction of personal details, emergency contacts and bank account details.

Depending on the role, the latest information regarding any immunisations and vaccinations the applicant has received can also be displayed, together with the ability to confirm or provide equality and diversity details.

Some of the driving principles behind the ESR Applicant Dashboard are to reduce the reliance on paper based forms in the NHS, lend some consistency to the key information requested of applicants during the recruitment process and to help ensure the experience of transitioning from applicant to employee is a positive one.

Much of the information now available to applicants was identified through an NHS England and NHS Improvement reference group which was established to review new starter forms used across the NHS and to recommend process improvements.

screenshot of the applicant dashboard

There is more information available about the Applicant Dashboard in the functional brochure which you can access by clicking here. For additional information there is also a guide to customising the Dashboard that organisations can use to display (for example) any additional information applicants might need, or a welcome message from the Chief Executive. You can access the guide here.

Join the waste revolution and switch to online payslips using ESR

Many of us have become more aware in recent times of the environmental challenges of 21st century living, and we are all trying to do our bit to reduce waste and have a more positive impact on the planet.  One way in which the NHS can positively support this is by reducing paper waste.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a lever for change for many organisations as some of their staff had to move from office to remote working, making the receiving, handling and distributing of paper payslips outdated, inconvenient and unsafe.

Between March and June 2020 an additional 314,000 employees switched to online payslips using ESR.

During August 2020 we reported that more than 1.6 million NHS staff on ESR (that’s 78% of the NHS workforce using ESR) access their online payslip via ESR Self Service, and that number continues to grow.

In July 2020 approximately 455,700 employees received paper payslips across the NHS, the majority of which will be filed away until they are needed for proof of earnings, and yet online payslips are available via ESR to all NHS employees with an ESR record.

More and more NHS organisations are now seeing the benefits of switching off their paper payslip processes and empowering their staff to enable them to access their online payslips immediately when made available, often before payday, at a time to suit them. Historical payslips are also available, for ease of reference.

As part of our latest campaign to encourage all NHS organisations to switch to online payslips we have published a suite of new material that includes a new easy seven step guide, a full end to end implementation guide and helpful FAQs.  You can access all these resources via the ESR Hub at 

Switch to Greener, Cleaner, Safer 

Watch our video to learn more about the impact of switching to online payslips.

Contact your NHS ESR Regional Functional Account Manager team for more  expert advice and guidance.

New NHS ESR Implementation Advisors join the team

The NHS ESR Central Team is delighted to welcome three new Implementation Advisors who have recently joined the team.

The team of Implementation Advisors has been in place across the North, Midlands and East and South of England since late 2019, working alongside the NHS ESR Functional Account Managers to provide more hands on support to NHS organisations who are implementing ESR functionality for their managers and employees. 

To date the team have supported 96 implementation projects and with their knowledge and expertise they have supported ESR Leads, HR and Recruitment teams and Learning and Development Leads to enable them to use more of the ESR functionality that is available.  

Our newest team members; Joanne Stanger, Karen Ledsham and Ghatera Sadegh have all very recently joined the NHS ESR Implementation Advisor team and are working within the South, Midlands and East and London regions.

Karen Ledsham – Midlands and East of England

Karen first began her life in the NHS working as an IT Service Desk Analyst for South Warwickshire Foundation Trust in 2009, and was approached 9 months later to join Arden & GEM CSU as an Office 365 and SharePoint administrator. Her knowledge of computers and systems took her to Arden & GEM CSU HR Team, where she managed the Electronic Staff Record as a Workforce Officer for just under a year. She went on to extend her knowledge of the Oracle Learning Management System and was promoted to the OLM e-Learning Lead in 2019.


Joanne Stanger – South of England

Joanne joined the NHS in 2008, working with Wiltshire Primary Care Trust before moving to Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, having previously worked for a local authority in the leisure industry. Her NHS roles were based on learning & development, implementing, and focusing on OLM.



 Ghatera Sadegh – London

Ghatera joined the NHS in 2012 as Administrative Support at Imperial NHS Trust. She was introduced to ESR in 2013 as a Medical Staffing Advisor. Her main role was setting up junior doctors on ESR. Ghatera joined Central North West London in 2016 as an Employee Service Advisor before moving to become the HR People Service Partner where she was also a lead for ESR - responsible for ESR Self Service for the Trust.


Our team of Implementation Advisors can provide you with project management and implementation guidance as you embark upon your journey to maximise your use of ESR.

Contact your NHS ESR Regional Functional Account Manager to find out how your regional Implementation Advisor/s can support you.

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