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Implementing Supervisor Self-Service at Cornwall Partnership NHS FT

Cornwall Partnership NHS FT are an NHS Community and Mental Health provider Trust.

They deliver care to people at home or in a hospital care setting to improve their physical and mental health. The workforce provides specialist support to people with dementia and a learning disability. Around 5,000 people make up the Trust, including doctors, nurses, therapists, administrators, and support staff. Over 500,000 people call Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly home, and the number of people they can support increases dramatically when people visit on holiday.

Following successful implementation and embedding of Employee Self-Service, with 98% of staff accessing this functionality regularly, the next natural step for Cornwall Partnership was to explore Manager Self-Service. The Self-Service functionality would also enable the Trust to achieve their aim of being able to provide access to key data, e.g., absence, turnover, staff numbers etc., for managers at the click of a button.

Paul Tyler, Workforce ESR & Data Manager explains:

During an initial pilot launched in 2021, we struggled to reach our required levels of engagement from managers. The Covid pandemic may have influenced this; there was learning for us in understanding the importance of engagement and changing mindsets of staff. Understanding why we use ESR was an important message to share – many managers saw ESR as purely the mechanism for paying our staff, with no concept of the wider functionality.

We decided that breaking down the rollout into phases of functionality rather than giving small groups of managers access at a time would be a better approach. This way we could limit the functionality initially open to managers and create a snowball effect of early adopters, encouraging others to access, so our initial pilot was with Supervisor Self-Service (Limited Access).

Smartcard access was a prerequisite for us, as all staff have a smartcard as part of their access to clinical systems.  This would future proof the system when extending access and upgrading the URP from Limited Access. We turned off manager access via username and password as we considered the risk of enabling this on non-NHS devices. As a result of this action several managers sought their smartcards, finding they had expired as they had only used their username and password to access ESR for Employee Self-Service.

The launch of the first phase, on 1st April 2023, gave all managers access at the same time. We ran twice weekly awareness sessions and gave clear guidance on the functionality we were initially concentrating on. Additional bespoke sessions for service areas have also been provided.

The first phase focused on reporting, access to staff information for completing contract change and termination forms and entering of appraisal completion dates. We developed local BI dashboards, based on the format of the existing reports managers already received from us monthly, setting the parameters so all they needed to do was open the relevant report and view or export to Excel if required. We have also developed local reports to be able to monitor access and target managers that may need additional support, either because they are not accessing, or they are entering appraisal information incorrectly.

We’re now just over two months since the phase 1 launch, and we have identified that support and clear guidance is key.  Whilst staff are quite comfortable accessing their payslips, being given access to a whole host of additional information and data for the staff they manage is a whole new world!  In addition to support, it is becoming evident that our team will need to evolve and upskill to be able to meet the additional demand for support from the 520 managers with access. We are excited to move into the realms of system administration, development, and end user training.

Future phases will look to widen the functionality used, including flexible working and potentially the full appraisal process, utilising forms in ESR, and building up to full access to ESR for managers, enabling them to make contractual changes (with approvals required) via Manager Self Service.


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