New workforce services a 'win-win' for Trust and its employees
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust: Modern payroll, pensions and HR admin service futureproofs vital workforce functions
"Overall, the NHS SBS service is better and more sophisticated than what we had in-house.
I believe it's one of the best things we have done, with benefits for the Trust and for staff - a win-win situation."
Sally Dibben, Head of Human Resources, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust's 5,000 employees provide the widest range of NHS mental health services in the UK. Serving a local population of 1.3 million people the Trust has more than 230 services, including inpatient wards, outpatient appointments and community services. With such a large and complex workforce, the Trust partnered with NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) to manage and future-proof its payroll, pensions and HR admin, and - one year on - these vital workforce functions are in better shape than ever.
• Cost-saving and efficiency-boosting solution to Trust's challenge
• Seamless transition from historic processes to electronic systems
• Ongoing, dedicated support from NHS SBS expert team
• Specialist shared service provides long-term peace of mind
• Payroll app gives employees easy-to-understand and round-the-clock access to pay information
Faced with the departure of experienced payroll team members and struggling to recruit in-house against a background of cost pressures, managers at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust needed a workforce solution that would provide long-term peace of mind.
Following an attempt to have a joint in-house service with neighbouring NHS trusts, a final decision was taken to move to an external provider. Having been impressed by its breadth of expertise and the advantages of a shared service, the Trust opted to move to NHS SBS - the preferred provider from a rigorous tender process - to provide a cost-saving and efficiency-boosting solution to its payroll, pensions and HR administration challenge.
Sally Dibben, Head of Human Resources at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, explained: "An ageing workforce is a significant challenge across the NHS. Our payroll manager retired and we knew that two more experienced colleagues were planning to leave within the subsequent 18 months. Running payroll inhouse was also becoming financially burdensome.
"After exploring in-house approaches we knew that partnering with NHS SBS was the best course of action to ensure we were fit for the long-term future."
In addition to payroll and pension services, South London and Maudsley also partnered with NHS SBS to provide HR administration, covering everything from new recruits to retirement, which had previously been part of the in-house payroll section.
Sally added: "It was great that NHS SBS could provide HR admin too, giving us that consistency of service from a well-established external team.
"The whole transition process was slick and straightforward. Our project manager was excellent. He gently and expertly steered us through all the important milestones and made an effort to develop a strong working relationship with our whole team."
NHS SBS developed a realistic and planned project timetable to understand the Trust's historic processes and ensure a smooth migration onto the new electronic payroll and pensions system.
Sally said: "The idea of migrating 5,000 employees to a new system whilst ensuring they were kept in the loop at all times was overwhelming, but I was amazed at how seamless and smooth NHS SBS made the whole process.
"The project management and communications were firstrate throughout the process and we knew we were in safe hands. The expertise and experience of NHS SBS came through in aspects like its communications templates, whilst any teething problems were always managed expertly and efficiently.
"We had a dedicated point of contact at all times and 12 months on we still have monthly calls and quarterly face to face meetings. We've always had a quick response from the NHS SBS team."
As the partnership passes its first anniversary, a modern payroll, pensions and HR admin service is established and working well for the Trust and its employees. Managers have the 'underlying reassurance' that payroll is well managed.
The MySBSPay payroll app, meanwhile, has provided South London and Maudsley employees with convenient, easy-to-understand and round-the-clock access to their pay information from any mobile device. It also means they can take advantage of a range of unique discounts and benefits, which helps them make the most of their finances.
Sally added: "Staff tell us regularly how much they love the app and the ease of being able to view their payslips and p60s on their phones or tablets. The NHS discounts are also very popular.
"Overall, the NHS SBS service is better and more sophisticated than what we had in-house. I believe it's one of the best things we have done, with benefits for the Trust and for staff - a win-win situation.
"I have had other NHS trusts contact me about going through the same process and I have every confidence in recommending NHS SBS to them."