I was somewhat surprised to read this when I looked at the NHS productivity website this morning:
Unfortunately due to the introduction of the Electronic Staff record (ESR), the Department of Health have been unable to produce the workforce indicators this quarter.
But wait a minute, wasn’t that the whole point of the ESR system?
ESR is the new system that holds records on, and pays, the entire NHS workforce. The £300m seven-year project created what is probably the largest integrated HR and payroll system in the world. As the NHS Information Centre explains, part of the rationale for setting up the system was to have a single source of data from which reports and analysis could be produced:
Before the ESR, national workforce data was produced by central collection of returns from organisations. This involved data being collected from 29 payroll and 38 HR systems, duplicating cost and effort across the NHS. This meant that the collection of returns were resource intensive and in turn meant that the timeliness and frequency of reports were not as good as they could be.
Yes, but at least people got the bleedin’ information under the old system.
New IT systems eh? Don’t you just love ’em?