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Financial Controls

Increasing productivity and delivering efficiencies is a clear focus for the NHS. National policies and commissioned reports signal the need to identify workforce improvements, including information management, workforce planning and ultimately, enabling effective people management.... Read more

Financial Controls

Increasing productivity and delivering efficiencies is a clear focus for the NHS. National policies and commissioned reports signal the need to identify workforce improvements, including information management, workforce planning and ultimately, enabling effective people management. NHS organisations need to maintain a clear focus on such workforce measures in order to fully understand how their human resource will meet the needs of today and the future. Within Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, the Draft Health and Care Workforce Strategy, it states that there are more than 40,000 clinical vacancies in the NHS. With 92% of these vacancies covered by agency or bank staff, robust workforce information must be better aligned with finance and service planning to deliver a future of healthcare that maximises limited resources.

The Draft Health and Care Workforce Strategy reinforces one of the key recommendations from the Carter Report: Trust boards ensuring that the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) is reconciled to the financial ledger on a weekly basis, with a minimum reconciliation of 95% from October 2016”.  Effective Establishment Control combined with good workstructure management in ESR will enable your organisation to reconcile its workforce information and FTE values to its finance systems.

One of the main themes within the Five Year Forward View is ‘Getting serious about prevention’, including a ‘Healthier NHS Workplace’, with one of the intentions being to reduce the sickness levels across NHS staff. Public Health England estimate that the cost to the NHS of staff sickness absence is £2.4bn a year which equates to 2.5% of the total NHS budget. This figure excludes the cost of temporary staff to backfill those absences. The Five Year Forward View highlighted that “the NHS could reduce its overall sickness rate by a third – the equivalent of adding almost 15,000 staff and 3.3 million working days at a cost of £550m.”

Improving sickness absence by improved collection of data was identified in the Carter Report with recommendation 1 stating ‘ESR can assist you in managing your organisations sickness absence through the ability to record, monitor and manage any type of absence in real time at local, regional and national levels.’ Essentially, ESR is evidence to enable timely information to be used by managers to actively manage and reduce sickness absence.

This interactive tool will help you understand how ESR can support you in achieving greater financial control so as to deliver greater efficiencies in your organisation.  For a consolidated version of the information contained within this segment, please download the 'Executive Summary', located at the bottom of the page under 'Latest Resources'.

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To access key information and resources to support Financial Controls click on the icons below

Business Challenges

The following key questions will assist you in identifying what financial controls you have in place which can be supported through the utilisation of ESR functionality:

  1. Do you know the number and breakdown of vacancies across your organisation?

  2. Do your Finance team utilise ESR reporting to reconcile to your finance systems?

  3. Are you able to record accurately on establishment control (actual v budgeted + forecast)?

  4. Do you have available a full overview of where you are spending or utilising your resources?

  5. Are you making the right resource allocations to support the long term goals?

  6. Are you able to benchmark & forecast effectively with your workforce information?

  7. Is ESR embedded within your financial strategy to enable cost improvements?

  8. Are you able to empower your managers to take more ownership of their budget?

  9. Are you aware of sickness rates within your organisation including costs by staff type and the resulting cost of temporary staff to backfill absences?

  10. Are you able to manage internal and external training costs, and is this budget effectively utilised?

  11. Are you aware of the savings your organisation could realise by using e-Learning in ESR rather than creating or procuring other e-learning solutions?

Latest Resources

To discuss the functionality available in ESR, to undertake an ESR Assessment on your current and potential usage, or for further information, advice and support please contact your local NHS ESR Functional Account Manager.