NHS Payroll Advisor - Staff image

Here at Cantium Business Solutions, we understand first-hand the needs and challenges that may be faced when working with the public sector. Why, you may ask? In July 2018, Cantium became a Local Authority Trading Company (LATCo), previously a traded service of Kent County Council (KCC), the business has a dynamic public sector heritage and holds valuable links to the NHS.

With a successful history of supplying payroll services to local government organisations, in November 2018, Cantium signed a contract with Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) to deliver a payroll service as an external provider. The payroll for KCHFT pays over 5,500 employees each calendar month, covering a variety of permanent, fixed term and bank positions.


On a day-to-day basis we work alongside various departments within Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a seamless service to their employees. Whether that be with the Resourcing team when processing new joiners, the Workforce team when applying contractual changes or the Finance team when completing end of year procedures. As one piece of the puzzle, we recognise the importance of a good working relationship.

As the payroll provider we structure our department into two teams: Helpdesk and Operational. Although both teams work with a united approach, they still manage individual responsibilities as below:

Unlike many other payroll providers for the NHS, our payroll department completes all payroll input and procedures for current employees.

What Makes an NHS Payroll Run Differently from the Rest?

First and foremost, we have access to the NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR). This system is a bespoke version of Oracle, designed by the NHS to fulfil the many requirements outlined by NHS England, such as the need for a weekly and monthly payroll, and a built-in Agenda for Change (AfC) pay awards that increase when required. It is estimated approximately 99% of NHS Trusts use ESR to provide their own payroll services, whether that be in-house or through an external provider.

One of the challenges that we faced when using a comprehensive system like ESR, is the attention to detail required when scheduling the payroll runs and checking reports. Forward thinking, Cantium appointed an NHS Control Manager to fulfil this need and improve the efficiency of the services we provide. This specific role also ensures that we are fully compliant with HMRC regulations.

The History of ESR

ESR is managed by software provider, IBM. They are responsible for the day-to-day running of ESR, future developments and customisations that suit not only national agreements but local ones as well.

In 2015, IBM replaced the former ESR service provider, Mckesson UK, with the intention to develop and implement a new ESR service which paid an impressive 1.4 million members of staff employed by the NHS in England and Wales.

In order to ensure that we comply with system regulations and payroll processes rolled out by IBM, our payroll team have completed IBM’s very own Payroll Administration training course.

Cantium’s Approach

Cantium Business Solutions are proud to deliver the highest standard of customer service, always working in line with our four core values to help us to collectively achieve our goals; being fast, connected, customer led and insight-driven!

Not only do we work with an open-door attitude, we are also continuously looking at ways to develop the delivery of our services.

As you can see a day in the life of a payroll advisor is exciting and goes without saying, busy. There’s never a dull day in payroll!

Want to read more about our Cantium teams? Get an insight into a typical day within our Solutions team here.