BP3, a market leader in designing and delivering business process automation programs, has helped St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (STHK) save the equivalent of over 350 workdays across its Employment Services department with the implementation of automated bots, logging and error handling.
Like many other NHS organisations across the UK, STHK faces pressure to continue to deliver excellent patient care, whilst also improving efficiency and reducing cost of back-office functions, including payroll, pensions and HR tasks. BP3 worked closely with the Trust to transform its pension auto enrolment and processing of weekly payroll files.
Automation has allowed the Trust to send emails with accurate pre-filled information to speed up the sending of auto enrolment letters to new members of staff joining the NHS. Over the course of six months, 285 hours of time has been saved compared to previous manual processes.
Staff members completing processing of weekly payroll files previously spent valuable hours manually manipulating and processing these files, with limited and pressured time to complete quality checks. With automated bots, the Trust is able to eradicate the chance of human error and allow staff to undertake these checks, ultimately improving the accuracy and quality of payroll.
BP3 also worked with STHK to build bots for data protection purposes. Certain correspondence sent by the Trust needs password protection due to the inclusion of National Insurance numbers. Bots automated this process with a 100% success rate.
Following BP3’s support for programme set-up, the Employment Services Automation Programme now has 139 bots handling 16 processes (as of December 2022) with the following achieved so far:
- Filed over 36,000 files to employees’ personal folders
- Completed over 2,000 Statutory Sick Pay (SSP1) forms
- Communicated over 3,600 pension auto-enrolments and re-enrolments
- Distributed over 2,700 third party reports to client finance teams
The knowledge transfer provided by BP3 has also helped STHK to take steps to develop the skills of its people. Using BP3-implemented bots as the benchmark, staff have taken on ownership of the technology and gained the confidence to build several processes themselves. A small team has transitioned from the payroll team to being RPA developers by taking an active role in developing the logic for bots.
“First and foremost, automation has reduced the time our staff spend on menial tasks, enabling them to undertake more complex quality checks, improve payroll accuracy and achieve a better work-life balance. Secondly, it’s well documented that the NHS faces pressure to continue to deliver excellent patient care, whilst also improving efficiency and reducing cost of back-office functions. With automation, we’re able to optimise the effective use of resources and develop our people at the same time” said Mark Ramsay, RPA Project Manager at STHK.
“Citizen” development (employees owning and building their own automated processes) is the future of automation, and our collaboration with STHK has focused on the skill-building of staff as well improving quality metrics, service to clients and staff wellbeing with automation. We’re delighted to have helped map the path for STHK to implement additional automation across pay progression and appraisals, bulk uploads, pension data quality and new starters and leavers in the next year,” said Peter Shergold, BPM/RPA Lead Consultant at BP3.