Supporting our people

Making a difference

Our people are going above and beyond to support customers and communities during the pandemic. Meet some of our people pivotal to key projects that are making a difference right now.

Phil Heap, CostMaster

Ahead of the 2019 National Cost Collection for the NHS (which usually takes place May – July), we introduced two-hour remote consultancy sessions to support our users during this challenging time. Since office closures began, we phoned each customer to understand their personal situation, how they’re set up to work from home and how they were accessing their costing systems. Many have been redeployed to help the fight against the virus and we also wanted to ensure that we could deliver remote consultancy for those who hadn’t received it before. 

We’re currently holding a weekly 90-minute CostMaster clinic on a varying topic where users can receive training and also ask us questions. It’s great to keep us engaged with our customers, and all our sessions are recorded so others can replay at their leisure. I think what we’ve done for customers is help them feel connected in a very difficult time. There’s uncertainty over when the collection will be this year but a delay is likely, meaning some difficulty for costing teams to focus without a set deadline, and many are also redeployed or lacking the required access at home.

Communication is key, more than ever in the current climate, so conference calls between one of our account managers and lead consultant for each trust have helped us to keep in touch and show that we’re passionate about making a difference.

I’d like to thank my colleagues for playing their part for our customers: it’s been a real team effort across sales, services and marketing.

Robin Postance, Trac

To help the NHS in the fight against the virus, we rapidly deployed new features to the Trac Recruitment Management System:

  • Fast-track Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) list checks and associated countersigning service for COVID-19 roles. This service was available on 30th March and within days we received many thousands of results.
  • New workflows and exceptions for professional registration checks on students and returning retirees.
  • The ability to track non-face-to-face identity and right to work checks.
  • Identifiers highlighting roles specific to the pandemic to applicants.
  • Enhanced reports to track the completion of employment checks on expedited new starters.

In early March, our user base faced extraordinary circumstances. Firstly, the cloud-based system with extensive built-in functionality was proven to be ideally suited for NHS recruitment teams switching to remote working. Secondly, it was time-critical that new processes resulting from emergency legislation were expedited and bound within our software and services. Our capability to react, plan and deploy these features by the end of March made the difference to our customers. The result was the delivery of this critical workforce function in a speedy, efficient, compliant and paperless manner. Ultimately, it meant the rapid deployment of staff to the frontline. 

I’m proud to have worked with a network of people whose great efforts ensured we put the right features in place at the right time. The differences made confirm to me that Trac is national critical infrastructure. Our achievements come with great thanks to some genuine employee champions from NHS Employers, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), The Electronic Staff Record (ESR) and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). As the emergency legislation formed, it was the early communication and sharing of knowledge between us that made the difference. Recognition also goes to the entire Trac user base who were veraciously sharing ideas on our online forum.

I will never forget the weekend of 28th March: every single member of our product, quality assurance and software engineering teams worked tirelessly to help. As I published the site news at 00:27 on Monday 30th, from news reports I was aware that our community of users were being directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends. What I also knew was that our updated workflows, improved interoperability with other systems and capability in the morning for our recruitment support and DBS countersignatory teams to deliver new services would support people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. 

I want to finally share the message I am now getting from recruitment leads across the NHS. The worst of the chaos is over, for now. We are ready to start getting back to some form of normality. Further innovations and improvements are not only welcomed but are business-critical.