ESR and the healthcare science workforce

SAVE ITEM

03 / 4 / 2014 Midnight

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and key stakeholders have created a new, comprehensive method of classifying the healthcare science workforce (HCS) on the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) system (and other HR systems).

Specifically, the values relating to the HCS workforce in Area of Work, Job Role and Occupation Code have been revised. The new system has been designed to reflect and use the terminology of the new Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) framework, taking account of all the scientific groups. 

These changes were made available in ESR for employers to use in late December 2013. Guidance material is available from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and employers are  encouraged to audit their current HCS workforce data and assess how these change alreadys will apply to existing records (if they haven't already).   

What this means for employers

If you haven't already done so, you need to begin auditing your current workforce data to ensure  correct records are included in the changes, reviewing the new values and assessing how these will apply to your existing records and then finalising the changes that you want to make to your records.

When applied correctly, the new HCS values will allow workforce planners, HR teams and directors to better understand and manage their healthcare science teams and improve data quality.  

Background

In the past there was a lack of consistency across organisations in the way in which HCS workforce classifications were allocated on ESR (and other HR systems), making effective workforce planning very difficult. We know that the HCS workforce play a major role in the delivery of patient care, but it is difficult to measure their contribution to improved patient outcomes when there is an inaccurate profile of this staff group. This has been largely due to the complexity and number of specialisms that exist within the workforce. 

These improvements to healthcare science coding will be particularly useful as the NHS moves towards a more outcome-led service. 


Frequently asked questions

Why do we need a new system of classifying the HCS workforce?


For some time there has been a lack of consistency across organisations in the way in which the current HCS workforce classifications are allocated on ESR (and other HR systems), making effective workforce mapping and planning very difficult. This is largely due to the complexity and number of specialisms that exist within the workforce. 

This makes accurate data analysis at a local, regional and national level problematic, so it is important that the new classification system is put in place by employers to improve the quality and accuracy of the data used to inform workforce planning.

The success of the new classification system will rely on the combined efforts and expertise of human resource/workforce information colleagues working alongside their local HCS leads, making full use of the guidance materials provided.

A project group led by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) developed a new, comprehensive method of classifying the healthcare science workforce through updates to the National Workforce Data Set (NWD). Specifically, the values relating to the healthcare science (HCS) workforce in Area of Work, Job Role and Occupation Code have been revised. This new approach has been designed to reflect and use the terminology of the new Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) framework, taking account of all the scientific groups.

This new way of classifying the HCS workforce will mean we have good quality HCS workforce data for the first time.

How will the changes affect my organisation?

The new values should now be applied to your current healthcare science workforce. If you haven't already done so it will involve working with HR/workforce information colleagues to ensure the correct records are included in the changes, reviewing the new values and assessing how these will apply to your existing records, and then finalising the changes that you want to make to your records.

When applied correctly, the new healthcare science values will allow workforce planners, HR teams and directors to better understand and manage their healthcare science teams, and improve data quality. It is vital for the success of this process that human resource/workforce information colleagues work alongside their local HCS leads, making full use of the guidance materials provided.

What do employers need to do?

Human resource/workforce information colleagues are encouraged to access the available guidance materials to find out more about the changes, and to work with their local healthcare science lead to begin auditing their current HCS workforce data and assessing how these changes will apply to existing records.   

The ESR Central Team will also support organisations through the change process and can assist with the update of records when the new values go live. Further information will be made available via the ESR website and KBase in due course. 

Will the classifying changes affect the healthcare science workforce?

Recording healthcare science posts correctly is essential for workforce planning and quality workforce data will also help measure the huge contribution this workforce makes to improved patient care. The project is concerned with recoding posts on ESR for workforce planning purposes and will not impact on the AfC banding of individuals.

How can I access more information and support?

The HSCIC have developed a set of guidance tools and materials to help and assist organisations with this change process. 

The ESR Central Team will also support organisations through the change process and can assist with the update of records. Further information will be made available via the ESR website and KBase.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the HSCIC, with ‘Healthcare Science Workforce’ in the subject line at enquiries@hscic.gov.uk

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