A new App which enables NHS staff to view and interrogate their payslips on any mobile device is helping to save the NHS around 333 hours every month by reducing the number of telephone payroll queries from NHS employees.
MySBSPay was launched by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) towards the end of 2018 to give NHS employees their pay information in a more-convenient and understandable format, including the facility to ask common pay-related questions using modern Chatbot technology.
With almost 400,000 NHS staff paid via the NHS SBS payroll service, which is used by around 90 NHS organisations around the country, the App has been downloaded over 40,000 times and has already led to hundreds of NHS workforce hours being saved for more valuable activity, such as frontline patient care.
Figures for the three months from August to October 2018 – shortly after the App was introduced – show the NHS SBS payroll service desk dealt with an average of 12,808 queries a month from NHS employees, ranging from payslip clarifications to tax enquiries, pay day information requests to maternity pay questions.
Between November 2018 and January 2019, however, the total number of cases was down significantly to an average of 9,474 per month – a 26% decrease.
With an average case taking approximately six minutes to resolve, this equates to a saving of around 333 staff hours every month – the equivalent of 48 working days across the NHS.
At Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where staff worked closely with NHS SBS last year to design and test MySBSPay, more than one in four employees (26%) are now using the App. The average number of monthly queries to the payroll service desk from those working at the trust has reduced by 1% – saving around nine hours of staff time every month.
Deirdre Richardson, associate chief pharmacist (operations) at the trust, said: “I’m a huge advocate of the NHS SBS App. It is very helpful to see, at a glance, my salary over the last few months and also when the next pay day is - as both can vary from month to month.
“Rather than having to be at work and logged into the Electronic Staff Record, which can be time consuming, MySBSPay gives employees the flexibility of viewing their payslips very easily at home or on the go from their mobile phone."
The trust’s assistant director of nursing, Cathy Hill, added: “Using MySBSPay is much easier than having to log on to ESR to view your payslip. The ability to ask questions on the App will also mean NHS staff spend less time on phone calls and emails to payroll.
“One of the most-useful things about the App for me and others in my team is being able to easily see and track the payment of any arrears or travel expenses.”
Elsewhere, at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, around a fifth (21%) of employees have downloaded MySBSPay. This has helped reduce the number of cases raised with the payroll service desk by around a third (32%), the equivalent of 11.5 hours of staff time per month.
David Morris, NHS SBS managing director, said: “The MySBSPay App is a perfect example of how innovative technology can be used to give the NHS workforce the tools to be more effective.
As more NHS employees continue to download and use MySBSPay to manage their pay information, the expectation is that many more hundreds of hours can be saved every month – freeing up NHS staff to concentrate more of their time where it really matters
“The NHS Long-Term Plan talks about removing wasted time and irritating tasks so that staff are able to focus on patient care. And this is exactly what we are doing in the back office. Listening to what NHS hospitals need and developing digital ways of working that lessen the admin burden on their employees.
“With NHS trusts across the country struggling to recruit and retain enough staff to meet demand, it has never been more important to ensure that the current NHS workforce is working efficiently and on high value tasks. To see that our App has had such a huge impact in a relatively-short period of time shows how important it can become for the NHS in future.
“As more NHS employees continue to download and use MySBSPay to manage their pay information, the expectation is that many more hundreds of hours can be saved every month – freeing up NHS staff to concentrate more of their time where it really matters and on what makes the biggest difference to patients.”