September 2020

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Conflict of Interest Declarations using ESR

In March 2020 the ESR team deployed Conflict of Interest (COI) functionality into ESR, and soon after it was available, East Sussex Healthcare (ESHT) made the decision to use it. The decision was in part driven by the fact that they had an external contract for COI and that contract had an end date of June 2020, but also that there were benefits of recording it directly into ESR.

Joanne Penfold, the ESR Support & Development Manager (pictured right) explained how they managed the process:

We identified all Trust employees who needed to make an annual declaration and submitted an SR to the Service Desk to request a mass upload of the Decision Maker role to those employee records. This role identifies the employees to receive a workflow notification to prompt them to submit a declaration, which also makes it easy to identify them in future reporting.

We cascaded some general communications across the Trust at the beginning of June to explain the change to COI submission & recording, and the first workflow notification was sent to our employees on 8th June.

ESHT maintains a secure email address, where possible, in the Office tab on the employee personal details because they use it to send targeted communications and the staff survey to their employees.

ESHT employees access and submit the COI via Employee Self Service which ESHT has fully rolled out, and to date 53% of their employees who need to make a declaration, have done so.

A report is produced for the COI Manager, which includes the email address from the Office tab, and this can be used to send reminders to employees who have not yet submitted a declaration.

Joanne goes on to explain:

As the project is still being managed under project guidance, I am maintaining the Decision Maker role for new starters. This will transfer to the Recruitment & Medical Staffing teams in the future.

Hilary White, COI Manager added:

We are delighted with the new system to record Conflicts of Interest.  The functionality is simple to use and using existing system access has meant more COI’s have been submitted within the short time-frame than would normally be expected so far. It’s also easy to identify and chase those who have not yet made a declaration and we can manage the process locally.  On top of that, it has saved us £5,500 per annum paying for an external system.

If you are interested in using the Declaration of Interest functionality in ESR and would like some guidance, you can contact your NHS ESR Regional Functional Account Manager.


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