Case Study Detail

Health Education East of England Rollout of the ESR Streamlined Junior Doctor Interface

Health Education East of England


The East of England region comprises of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, and Bedfordshire and its NHS organisations serve a population of approximately 5.8
million people.

Health Education (HE) East of England local office is responsible for the management and co-ordination of recruitment for Doctors to all hospital specialty and general practice training programmes, throughout the region. The organisation manages approximately 4000 trainees overall, using a system called Intrepid to administer this work.

Recruitment into Foundation Core and Specialty Training Programmes is undertaken annually between November and June, recruiting approximately 800 posts. Medical Training Programme durations range from 2 - 8 years depending on the specialty, so junior doctors tend to move around from one NHS organisation to another regularly. Each time they move, their personal and post information is recorded or updated within ESR by their existing and new employer.

The Streamlined Junior Doctor Interface was launched by the NHS ESR Programme in 2012. This is the link between ESR and the Intrepid system, which enables NHS employing organisations and their partner HEE to share information about postgraduate foundation specialty trainees and their training post appointment.

HE East of England local office operates the interface with 22 out of 23 NHS organisations in the region. With all but one trust using the interface within 18 months, this is the most rapid and progressive implementation of the Streamlined Junior Doctor interface that the ESR Programme has seen.

Kate Read, Education & Performance Support Manager at HE East of England comments:

“In the East of England we decided to use the Streamlined Junior Doctor’s interface primarily to improve our efficiency in transferring placement information relating to Postgraduate Specialty and Foundation Training programmes. The interface enables a single process through which data can be transferred from the Intrepid database used by HE to the ESR System used by Trusts. By moving away from multiple, complex spreadsheets, the Interface enables the effective transfer of accurate information in a timely manner. “

The Approach

The project to implement the interface was led by the team at HE East of England. Work for the implementation was initiated by representatives from HE East of England visiting trusts, so that they could gain a detailed understanding of Trust level medical staffing business processes.

HE East of England approach to the implementation was as follows:

  • Reports were run by HE East of England detailing all junior doctor Training Post Numbers (often referred to as Deanery Posts Numbers or DPNs) for each trust;
  • These Training Post Numbers were sent to each Trust in order for them to assign them to the ESR position records;
  • The ESR Central Team supported the NHS organisations and managed the go live with the interface. The first Trusts went live on 11 June 2013;
  • Review meetings were held, chaired by HE EoE. These meetings offered Trusts an opportunity to feedback to us regarding accuracy and efficiency of the data transfer and how improvements could be made.

Michelle Keable, Operational Manager, HR Support Services at the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust commented:
“The implementation of the Junior Doctor Interface went smoothly and has been very straightforward. The system is easy to use and self-explanatory. It is useful to receive the notification messages to advise you that there is new information to view. “

Benefits of the Interface

There have been a number of benefits achieved by implementing this interface:

  • There is reduced administrative burden on the NHS Trust and junior doctor personnel when entering and transferring recruitment and updating Employee data;
  • NHS Trusts are made aware of the incoming and outgoing junior doctor much quicker;
  • The interface enables preparatory employment checks to be carried out faster and more efficiently; the data is consistent within both ESR and the LETB Systems;
  • The interface facilitates consistent local and national reporting;
  • NHS Trusts are reminded about new starters and staff are prompted to hire a trainee;
  • The process improves working relations between the NHS Trusts and the LETB organisations;
  • Improved data sharing can also have additional benefit; by improving morale amongst junior doctors who do not have to complete the same degree of new starter information each time they move to a new employing organisation.

Further details about the interface process and e-Learning materials can be found on the ESR Kbase system

Jan Bloomfield, Executive Director of Workforce and Communication, commented:

“The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust was one of the pilot sites for the Interface and therefore able to see some of the positives of this implementation, before many other Trusts. Rather than be reliant on information from TPD’s, which was sent to a variety of recipients around the Trust, we now have information flowing directly to medical staffing from the deanery. This includes trainee contact details and post information, which allows Medical Staffing to contact trainees in a much timelier fashion and inform the correct department within the Trust. Last year we were able to invite the majority of trainees to visit the Trust, before their first day. This ensured that they had their pre-employment, payroll, ID and standard documentation completed and in place before their first day with us. Furthermore, this then released time for Trust and Clinical Inductions required by the trainees on their first day, and allowed a smoother and less stressful transition for both the Doctors and the Trust. The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust sees the collaboration between the Trust and the HEE as vital to improving junior doctors training and rotations.”

Lessons Learnt

HE East of England is committed to improving the efficiency of data transfer through ESR but there are constraints that effect when and what data they are able to transfer:

  • Recruitment timetables can change depending on the success in filling capacity;
  • Recognition that information can change rapidly and sometimes as the last minute.

Kate Read added: “As a tip for other potential users of the interface I would emphasise the need for a clear troubleshooting process, with a named contact so that issues can be dealt with efficiently and effectively. We have learnt a huge amount from implementing the ESR Interface across Trusts in the East of England and would be happy to share our learning.”

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead to August 2016, HE East of England is hoping to increase the efficiency of the transfer of information.

Their goal is to have placements for all newly recruited and existing trainees for the year ahead by early June 2016 (subject to recruitment timetables). They have communicated to all Training Programme Directors expressing the need for all existing trainees’ future placements to be agreed as early as possible, which will therefore allow a greater amount of time to deal with the placements for the new recruits.

Further Information

HE East of England is willing to share their experiences in deploying the Streamlined ESR and Junior Doctors interface in the region. Please contact Alistair Pringle: alistair.pringlenhsnet – Tel: 01223 596865