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Thursday 27th October 2016

Electronic Staff Record

28th May 2007

The Electronic Staff Record (ESR) is being rolled out across the NHS in England and Wales. What is it and how is it progressing?


What is the ESR?

The Electronic Staff Record is a single integrated HR and payroll IT system which will replace the 67 different systems previously used by NHS organisations. Once implemented, it will be the UK’s largest HR IT system, maintaining the records of 1.3m staff who work for the NHS in England and Wales.

What will it do and what are the expected benefits?

The ESR will hold information for a range of staff management activities, including:

  • Sickness/absence records
  • Payroll
  • Personal development and appraisals
  • Training and career development
  • Recruitment

By having all staff-related data available electronically in a single nationwide system, information for everything from monitoring sickness/absence, to workforce planning, and managing the recruitment cycle can be accessed locally, regionally and nationally.

Data collection will be made more efficient in two key ways - by staff having access to keep their own records up to date, and by interfacing ESR with other systems including the General Ledger, Pensions Agency, BACS and the HMRC. In so doing ESR is expected to replace a swathe of paperwork undertaken in each NHS organisation. It will even be able to link to attendance and rostering systems to enable electronic day to day workforce planning.

The ESR is also designed to empower staff where possible. As well as allowing them to maintain their own personal details on the system, ESR can be used to store and retrieve Personal Development Plans and browse available training courses. It will keep a record of staff members’ progress against competency frameworks and qualifications, and provide information important for workforce planning and “talent management? at local and national levels.

ESR will highlight vacant posts and automatically generate an episode on the NHS Jobs website to advertise them. Information about the job and applicants can both be retrieved from the data warehoused in the ESR. It will even automatically generate letters inviting candidates to interview from the information it holds. The information available on the successful candidate then begins to populate their new staff record for their new post.

What progress has been made with roll out?

Implementation is being led by the Department of Health centrally. McKesson, a specialist supplier of healthcare HR and payroll systems, is the lead partner for development and implementation.

Implementation of ESR started in 2001, and eventually a pilot of the full system ran on a number of sites in 2004/2005. Full roll out is now underway in 12 waves, with a new wave of 50 trusts starting every two months. Each wave takes around 11 months to complete. Wave 7 is now live with Wave 8 due to start in June 2007. With the completion of Wave 7, over 726,000 staff from 387 different NHS organisations are now on ESR.

For more information on the electronic staff record go to http://www.esrsolution.co.uk/.

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