June 2018

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ESR Transformation

A Case Study by the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust



London Ambulance Services employ 5,500 staff based at ambulance stations and support offices across London.  We are the capital’s ambulance service and the only NHS Trust that covers whole of London.  We have a total of 70 ambulance stations across London.

The Project

In November 2015 a CQC inspection identified significant gaps in the Trust's recording and reporting of workforce information including statutory and mandatory training, appraisal, vacancies and staff in post.

As a result of this a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) was initiated to address areas which required improvement including how the Trust could record, monitor and report its workforce information more effectively.

To meet the needs of the QIP it was decided that the functionality available within ESR would be explored as part of an ESR Health check.  The Health check identified utilisation of 28% as well as key areas which could be optimised to meet the requirements of the QIP.

Following the Health check and in consultation with NHS Improvement a proposal was developed for the Executive Leadership Team.  They approved the initiation of a focused ESR Transformation Programme to deliver the following:

  • A data quality review and restructure of ESR to ensure that employees are in the right place to ensure accurate reporting;
  • Implementation of OLM and E-Learning including the data migration and ongoing use of competencies for statutory and mandatory training requirements and reporting;
  • Roll out of Employee Self Service via the new ESR Portal to enable staff to update their own information, view payslips and access NLMS e-learning;
  • Make workforce information available to managers across the Trust to monitor workforce compliance and performance and improve decision making about our staff.

Prior to the commencement of the ESR Transformation Programme, there was very little knowledge, engagement and use of ESR across the Organisation.  Various different systems and spreadsheets were being used to capture information about our staff including:

  • E-rostering system being used to maintain Operations staff personal records, and to record training and appraisals;
  • Vacancy levels were reported from the Finance system;
  • A local spreadsheet maintained by HR for Employee Relations cases;
  • A local spreadsheet maintained for Corporate Statutory and Mandatory Training records;
  • Training Subject Matter Experts kept their own records of training for their area of expertise;
  • A stand-alone e-learning platform with limited reporting capability;
  • Limited Workforce Information only available at Trust level from various sources.

The programme has incorporated all of the above into ESR, improving the usage, credibility and reputation of ESR as the master Workforce System for the Organisation.  With the improved visibility of the system, there have been requests from Managers across the Trust to use additional ESR functionality including Manager Self Service, Online Appraisals and Property Management. This has led to the development of a road map and future plans to fully optimise the functionality available in ESR.

Key Benefits

ESR Structure Re Design

  • ESR Workstructures re-designed to reflect the operational and financial structure of the Trust enabling reporting below Trust level.
  • Over 2,500 staff which were sitting in the wrong place in ESR corrected, reducing manual adjustments in the General Ledger and creating efficiency saving of 0.5 FTE in Finance.
  • Establishment Control implemented with Funded FTE 100% matched to Finance General Ledger each month. The Trust now uses ESR information to highlight recruitment gaps. This has supported a decrease in the Trust's vacancy rate from 8.2% to 7% since April 2017 which results in a better standard of care for our patients.

MyESR Launch

  • Over 98% of staff across the Trust have used MyESR since Go-Live in September2017 compared to 9% using Employee Self Service in 2016-17,
  • Over 66,000 e-learning courses have been completed by staff since September 2017.
  • Over 55,000 competencies awarded since September 2017 increasing statutory and mandatory compliance from 71% to 87% achieving the Trust's March 2018 85% target. This provides greater evidence and assurance around the safety and compliance of our workforce.
  • First ever statutory and mandatory eLearning Path delivered to over 3,700 frontline operational staff made available via mobile technology, replacing over 300 8 hour classes previously delivered by Band 6 Clinical Tutors.
  • 31 user guides developed for each individual piece of functionality in MyESR.
  • MyESR Helpdesk set up and resourced. Database created to track calls and identify themes of over 6,000 calls received since MyESR launch. Average response time of half a day.
  • Local MyESR Intranet Page launched with User Guides, FAQs, Video User Guides, Support information.
  • Online Feedback survey completed and ‘you said – we did’ plan currently being actioned.

OLM Implementation

  • 32 statutory and mandatory competencies created with over 100,000 competency requirements mapped and added to ESR Positions.
  • Over 60,000 competencies migrated from various legacy systems which enabled accurate workforce reporting and provided assurance to internal and external stakeholders on safer workforce.
  • Devolvement of OLM class administration to specialist training teams reducing centralised administration.

What Our Exec Team Say

 The transformation/implementation of MyESR has been a foundation for not only transforming our delivery and decision-making for training and development but also to change the way we will communicate with our people. 

Now that we have the foundation stone in place, we will be looking to maximise use of the wider system functionality to transform other aspects of our work with our dispersed teams of people – through online appraisals, managing student cohorts and potentially manager Self Service.

Patricia Grealish – Director of People & Culture & Project Exec Sponsor


The launch of MyESR has enabled us to transform the way we manage our training and development.  Our mobile workforce can now update their own employee record and complete e-learning via mobile devices, managers can key access workforce information about their teams and staff and the Organisation has a far greater understanding and assurance of its StatMan training and appraisal compliance.

Garrett Emmerson – Chief Executive

The Next Steps

Following the success of our MyESR implementation we intend to continue to our ESR journey and have begun planning the next phase of our ESR transformation project, implementing:

  • Devolvement of OLM administration to various learning teams across the Trust – by Q2 2018-19
  • Switch on Interfaces between ESR & Rostering system – by end Q3 2018-19
  • Online Appraisals via Manager Self Service – currently scoping

Lessons Learned

  • Align to strategic objectives to get ‘buy-in’
  • Be structured with project governance (e.g. Project Board, documentation)
  • Continuously engage across the organisation
  • Remain agile and implement ‘quick wins’
  • Promote ESR as master Workforce System
  • Share your experiences and best practice

Further Information

For further information our ESR Transformation project please contact Mark Ando, Interim ESR Transformation Programme Manager at Mark.Ando@lond-amb.nhs.uk





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