As the UK’s leading provider of eye health services – with a global reputation for ophthalmic excellence – Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has an expert workforce of around 2,300. Since partnering with NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) the Trust’s committed employees are now paid via its specialist payroll and pensions service, providing the hospital with cost savings, improved service quality and enhanced technology.


Key benefits

  • Hundreds of thousands of pounds savings per year
  • Hospital employees carry out less manual tasks
  • Reduced reliance on spreadsheets and paper forms
  • Better business intelligence to inform Trust decision making
  • More effective electronic exchange of information between payroll and e-rostering

“The value NHS SBS brings stems from its experience of working with a large number of other NHS trusts
…there is agreement across the organisation that we wouldn’t go back to a pre-NHS SBS service.”

Vince Lammas, Programme Lead, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The Challenge

With an in-house payroll function and legacy technology solution, managers at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust recognised the need to strengthen its service provision while moving towards effective NHS best practice.

It concluded that partnering with a specialist payroll provider – with experience of working successfully across the NHS – would enable the Trust to unlock efficiencies and benefit from a high-quality, consistent service to support the world-class care delivered by its workforce.

Vince Lammas, Programme Lead at Moorfields, explained:
“The Trust is working to improve both the quality and cost of corporate services, using benchmark data from across the NHS. It also concluded that it was time to move to ESR (Electronic Staff Record) – the standard NHS HR and Payroll system – to support the Trust’s future ambitions.”

Two female clinical staff laughing

After choosing a modern and capable payroll service, the Trust’s in-house and NHS SBS teams worked tremendously hard to manage Moorfields’ migration into the NHS ESR, whilst also deploying both Employee and Manager Self Service.

In addition to significant data migration challenges, the teams had to agree and support new ways of working to ensure the success of the new partnership.

Vince said: “During implementation and post go-live it became clear there were tasks the in-house payroll department did (some non-standard processes and actions that would normally come to HR) that would require significant attention between the new partners in HR and Payroll.

“Whilst not easy, the support, capability and advice provided by the NHS SBS team – their technical knowledge and approach during and following migration – has been very well recognised and valued.”

The Solution

Moving to ESR made it necessary to address some workarounds and bespoke solutions that were embedded in the legacy solution. These transformations have been gradually addressed successfully thanks to close professional collaboration.

Vince explained: “The new technology has forced a certain level of discipline that we didn’t have before. The value NHS SBS brings stems from its experience of working with a large number of other NHS trusts. The team there has been able to identify where our local processes were not as efficient as they could be, suggesting a range of options for how they could be improved.

“This has been really positive and a recognisable strength of our new working relationship with NHS SBS – both in terms of the technical advice and professional support from an outside expert organisation.

“From day one, we have seen a far greater and more effective electronic exchange of information between payroll and e-rostering – there are also some more improvements to make on that front.

“The NHS SBS team has worked hard to understand the legacy data from our old non-ESR system and find ways to identify and make recommendations for fixing anomalies and technical or operational issues – and this has been very important for us.

“There have also been efficiencies in terms of how the data is managed between the payroll and e-rostering systems, which means we have greater assurance that data is properly aligned.

“In the areas we’ve focused on first there is now much less manual input needed. Working with NHS SBS is also uncovering other opportunities to reduce reliance on spreadsheets and paper forms.”

The Result

With a modern payroll and pensions service now firmly in place, Moorfields has identified financial savings of hundreds of thousands of pounds per year, more efficient ways of working as employees carry out less manual tasks, and has access to better intelligence to inform decision making at the Trust.

Vince said: “As well as a direct saving from the cost of the payroll operation before compared to what it is now, we have also been able to remove some of the administration challenges. NHS SBS by definition is organised to operate in a more efficient way. The new ways of working are less burdensome for the vast majority of those working at the Trust.”

With many short term benefits already realised, the Trust is now focused on the longer term value of the partnership to the organisation. As systems and processes become even more sophisticated, for instance, the resultant data enables better workforce decision making.

Vince explained: “The enhanced business intelligence and the increased visibility for the HR team, means it is now able to deal with issues that may have previously been hidden due to the way our old payroll system was configured.

“With payroll there are always going to be operational challenges and instances where things could have been done better, but there is agreement across the organisation that we wouldn’t go back to a pre-NHS SBS service.”


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