Programme news

ESR Assessment – Supporting the NHS People Plan

The NHS People Plan sets out the actions to support transformation across the whole NHS. Following on from the NHS People Plan, the Future of NHS HR & OD Strategy outlines a vision and actions that support the delivery of the four pillars within the People Plan and embeds the seven elements of the People Promise.

The Annual ESR Assessment has recently been updated for 2022-23.  The recent changes to the ESR Assessment include references to the NHS People Plan and the Future of NHS HR & OD Strategy.

These changes to the ESR Assessment now include how ESR functionality can help NHS HRD’s / CPO’s and their teams meet some of the objectives of the NHS People Plan and the Future of NHS HR & OD Strategy.

With a focus on Retention, in recent months, the NHSBSA ESR service team has been collaborating with NHS England’s Retention Leads to raise awareness amongst HRDs / CPOs and their teams about how ESR functionality and its data can be used to support the delivery of their local Retention Strategies. This represents one aspect of how ESR capability can support local action plans in support of the NHS People Plan.

Updated ESR Assessment Reports

Using data taken directly from ESR, together with an understanding of what workforce related priorities each organisation has set out for the twelve months ahead, your ESR Functional Account Manager produces a series of reports that include recommendations about ESR functionality - aimed at helping HRDs / CPOs meet their local workforce, recruitment and retention goals.

The ESR Assessment is carried out in two parts; firstly a comprehensive set of statistics and figures taken directly from the ESR solution, looking across a broad range of functional areas within ESR. This identifies gaps in usage and highlights where organisations can gain further efficiencies and benefits.

The second part of the process involves an in-depth discussion with the ESR Functional Account Manager looking at the organisation’s current agenda and future plans for ESR; so we can identify areas where we can provide additional guidance and support. 

Following the ESR Assessment, those in attendance, along with the organisation’s HRD / CPO receive a number of reports, these are detailed below.

At A Glance Report

This report provides your organisation with a helpful overview (using a traffic light colour code) of how you are utilising ESR against key ESR functionality.

Your ESR Annual Assessment Report

This is a full report of the organisation’s ESR utilisation based on the ESR Assessment outcome. It includes all the data discussed in the meeting along with timelines and project details where these have been agreed.

Organisation People Plan Report

Within this detailed report there are 35 specific organisational calls to action, where ESR can help your organisation to deliver on local recruitment and retention plans in line with the NHS People Plan, NHS People Promise and the Future of NHS HR & OD Strategy.

Data collected and discussed during the Assessment will be highlighted within this report giving your organisation an indication of how well ESR is being used and where use of functionality could be improved.

People Plan

Organisation Health & Wellbeing Report

The health and wellbeing of your NHS employees is at the heart of recruitment and retention plans, so this report specifically looks at ESR functionality that can be utilised to assist in this area.

Organisation Infographic – Future NHS HR & OD Focus

This one page infographic gives your organisation a summary of its ESR utilisation against key areas where we believe ESR can assist in meeting key objectives of The Future of NHS HR & OD Strategy.

In addition to the organisation specific reports we also produce two regional infographics:

Regional Infographic – HR & OD Report Focused

This provides a summary of ESR utilisation across all NHS organisations within your region. This enables organisations to understand the regional uptake of ESR functionality in relation to some of the key items within The Future of NHS HR & OD Strategy, and where ESR can assist. 

STP (soon to be ICB’s) Infographic – HR & OD Report Focused

This provides a summary of ESR utilisation across all NHS organisations within a STP. (We are awaiting full confirmation of ICB membership before we convert the reports to reflect these.). This enables organisations to understand the regional uptake of ESR functionality from Self Service and online payslips, to learning competencies and the use of IAT to align to the national Enabling Staff Movement principles.

ICB Infographic – HR & OD Focused (development in progress)

We are developing an ICB based report that will enable organisations within an ICB to understand the regional uptake of ESR functionality - from Self Service and online payslips, to learning competencies and the use of IAT, including alignment to the national Enabling Staff Movement principles.

We conduct ESR Assessments on a rolling programme within the regions in England. If you are looking at how you can meet the objectives of the NHS People Plan and the Future of NHS HR & OD strategy, your ESR Assessment is a good starting point. Contact your regional NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager to find out more.  You can find their details here:

Accessing your latest payslip during reduced ESR Service

In order to ensure that ESR remains compliant with legislation, NHS policy and meet requests for change from users or stakeholders, we are required to take ESR and the ESR Hub offline to apply these essential changes in a safe manner - for example pay awards and pension updates, system and security enhancements.

This means that NHS employees cannot log in to ESR or the ESR Hub during the identified period of unavailability.

Viewing your latest payslip

We know that taking ESR offline can cause issues for NHS employees, particularly when they want to log in and check their latest payslip. The timing of ESR unavailability has to be planned outside of local employer payroll processing periods, so that reduces the window of time we have to apply such changes – typically meaning the end of a month being the least impactful to NHS organisations and their processing needs.

To try and reduce the impact for employees, we have delivered a technical change to ESR that will make recent payslips available as soon as possible during periods of ESR unavailability.  This means that employees can view their latest two payslips via the ESR Hub website when the ESR service is offline.

How it works

When we take ESR offline to apply changes, all areas of service are impacted for a period of time. In most circumstances the ESR Hub website can come back online before the ESR production service. 

When the ESR Hub website is back online employees can download their latest payslip.

What employees need to do

Go to the ESR Hub website:

If payslips are available via the ESR Hub, a holding page appears explaining that ESR is unavailable as shown below:

On the holding page there is a button titled ‘Continue to Payslip Download’.

When you click that button, it redirects you to the ‘View My Payslip’ page - this page will open in a new browser window.

Enter your usual ESR Username and Password for internet access and from there you select the ‘Download My Payslip’ button - your latest payslip for your primary assignment (job) will be available to view and/or download.

Useful information

You cannot reset your ESR password when accessing your payslip via the ESR Hub during reduced service.

Please note: you are not logging in to the ESR Portal as the application is still offline.

This facility is only available to users who have access to ESR via the internet. If you don’t have internet access to ESR you can request it from your employer. Follow this link for our help guide:

There is a full guide about how to log in to the ESR Hub to download your payslip during reduced ESR service on the ESR Hub website -


Future NHS workforce solution update

In December 2021 the future NHS workforce solution programme team provided an update on the programme and plans for the Discovery 3.0 phase, which began in autumn last year.

In this edition of ESR News the team is sharing more information about the Discovery 3.0 phase and what is planned for the coming weeks and months as the procurement gathers pace. 

The programme has now completed this final discovery phase and has started the next phase, the procurement of a supplier for the new solution.  

What happened during Discovery 3.0? 

From December 2021 to March 2022, a range of online engagement activities took place where we heard from 450 stakeholders, users and professional experts from across the NHS in England and Wales. These included programme sponsors; colleagues from a variety of NHS Trusts, Arm’s Length Bodies, health and care partnerships and Welsh Health Boards who had volunteered to be involved. Their involvement provided the team with more than 2,500 pieces of feedback which helped them understand, identify, and validate what the user and business needs are for the future NHS workforce solution. These needs have been grouped into seven functional areas shown below and are in addition to the service management elements of the solution which includes system intelligence, security, interoperability and reporting:  

  • Talent Acquisition 
  • Career Development 
  • Performance Management 
  • Core HR 
  • Learning 
  • Compensation and Benefits (Total Rewards, Pensions, Salary Sacrifice) 
  • Time Tracking and Payroll 

    Throughout the three discovery phases, the programme engaged with over 15,000 users and stakeholders through surveys, workshops, interviews, focus groups and correspondence.  

    The programme team would like to say thank you to everyone who was involved in this engagement exercise. Your valuable input has helped them shape the requirements, which will be a key part of the procurement phase of the programme.  

    What’s coming up?  

    The programme team has now commenced the next stage of the programme and started the procurement phase. This means they have formally notified potential suppliers they can now submit their bids for the work on the future NHS workforce solution.   

    The procurement phase will include reviewing and evaluating initial suppliers and creating a short list. The suppliers on this list will create ‘proof of concept’ designs, which will then be tested and a final evaluation process of their bid proposals will take place. Given the work involved during this process and the size and scope of this programme, it is expected this phase will take some time to be completed. We aim to have a contract awarded to the successful supplier in summer 2024. 

    Keep up to date 

    You can keep up to date with the programme by visiting our website, sign up to our FutureNHS workspace and/or sign up to our contact form to receive information direct to your inbox.  

    If you have any questions you can contact the programme team at 

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