September 2020

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ESR Supporting the Workforce response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 introduced unprecedented demand on NHS services, and with that came the need for more clinical and non-clinical staff.  However, the priority of recruiting more staff hasn’t been the only issue NHS Trusts have faced - as with lockdown came a change to the way many of us work.  ‘Work at home if you can’ has become the key message and whilst this presented a number of challenges for staff alongside managing new demands, this also presented a challenge for Trusts who found themselves having to redeploy staff into roles that they wouldn’t have done in normal circumstances. 

To help and support Trusts manage some of these issues, the NHSBSA ESR team developed system solutions to support organisations in their plans to manage the impact of COVID-19.  The image below provides a summary of the changes that have been made to date:

Recognising the impact the COVID-19 Pandemic is having on the daily operations of the NHS, the functionality within ESR can help organisations manage a range of operational workforce challenges. To further help organisations we launched the ESR COVID-19 Resource Hub in April 2020.

The Resource Hub is tailored to support employees, managers and corporate teams with helpful fact sheets providing simple step-by-step guides.

  • Fact sheets on how set up remote access to ensure that employees can log in to the ESR Portal from home to view ESR online or undertake COVID-19 related e-Learning;
  • How to hire returning front line workers so as to meet the demands of increasing patient numbers;
  • How to report both locally and nationally on COVID-19 related sickness absence; and
  • How to support working carers.

….plus, lots more useful guidance across a wide range of workforce related issues. 

The Hub was the first place I looked for ESR/COVID-19 related information rather than trying to go back through all the user notices, and I always make sure I read your emails for the latest information too!’

Amanda Beaumont, Senior HR Manager - Workforce Information & Systems.  Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

During the course of the Pandemic the Resource Hub has been updated to ensure that the latest guidance on how ESR can be used is reflected in the fact sheets. From the usage statistics, and feedback, it is clear that this simple easy way to access the latest ESR guidance has hit the mark for users; since it went live the Resource Hub has been accessed over 130,000 times.

To discover more information about the ESR COVID-19 Resource Hub visit


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