Massive HR system overhaul for NHS

The
NHS has invested £300 million to create one centralised HR and payroll system
in a bid to cut down on duplication and boost efficiency. 

The
NHS uses more than 30 different systems for its 1.2 million staff in England
and Wales.

The
deal is part of the shared services initiative launched in October 1999 to make
better use of NHS resources.

Philip
Hewitson, chief executive of NHS Shared Services, said, “This provides us with
a common system for staff recruitment and management.”

The
system will integrate HR and payroll and eventually include electronic
self-service and remote access, he explained.

Alistair
Henderson, policy manager for the NHS Confederation, welcomed the initiative,
“From an HR perspective,  we are
interested in the potential offered for it to be more than a payroll
system.  Hopefully, it can offer
information on staff which would be a helpful requirement under the race
relations act.”

He
added,  “Let’s hope that it will
increase the efficiency of the NHS’s HR system.  It’s good news if it assists with the mechanical and
administrative side of HR.”

The
NHS recruits an estimated 275,000 staff a year in England and Wales, of which
200,000 already work in the health service.

Hewitson
hopes that the system will transfer their details and let managers get on with
their jobs. 

The
Government hopes to have the integrated system in place by mid-2004, despite a
three-month delay this year,  according
to a Computer Weekly report.

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