Health Service Focus

02.08.19

NHS SBS: Insourcing in the NHS

Featured in July/August issue of NHE
 

Phil Davies, procurement director at NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), explains how insourcing clinical services is one way NHS hospitals are looking to meet growing patient demand and reduce waiting lists

Whilst NHS hospitals up and down the country are well used to providing an excellent standard of round-the-clock inpatient and emergency care, many day-to-day patient services are only currently available in – what would traditionally be considered – normal office hours. Operating theatres, imaging labs and outpatient clinics are some of the facilities that – at many NHS trusts – stand empty in the evening or at weekends.

But with an ever-increasing demand on patient services and NHS hospitals under real pressure to hit waiting list targets, many trusts are now looking to secure additional clinical capacity whilst making better use of their existing infrastructure.

READ MORE: NHS SBS transforms back office functions of 48 organisations

Offering patients greater choice and flexibility is another reason why more and more NHS hospitals are looking to insource clinical services as a safe and efficient way to provide high-quality care to a greater number of patients.

Insourcing – not to be confused with outsourcing – is where a third-party provider of secondary care uses an NHS organisation’s premises and equipment to deliver extra clinical capacity, outside of when they are normally in use. In most cases it is essentially an extension of a hospital’s existing clinical service.

The NHS trust retains capacity planning in-house and ensures that patients are seen within the normal hospital environment by current NHS employees, normally clinical staff with day jobs elsewhere in the health service. Insourcing as a short to medium term solution means an NHS trust retains greater control and all its normal practices and procedures are adhered to.

NHS sign

In response to its growing popularity, NHS SBS launched the first ever specialist NHS insourcing framework in October last year. The framework, which will initially run until September 2020 (with the option to extend it until 2022), aims to ensure that hospitals choosing to buy in extra clinical capacity have access to high-quality expertise and achieve the best value for money. Indeed, insourced services provided via the framework offer savings of up to 20% compared with the normal tariff price.

By having a framework like this in place, NHS trusts can be sure that a detailed OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) compliant procurement exercise has already taken place, and that the successful suppliers are appropriate in terms of meeting all legislative requirements – saving them the time and money of running a formal tender process themselves. In other words, NHS hospitals are free to directly award contracts to suppliers on the framework without a complex tender process, or they may choose to run a mini-competition to further test quality and price.

Following our robust selection process, seven suppliers - offering a wide range of clinical specialities - were awarded a place on the new framework. The services provided cover more than 20 different clinical specialties, everything from anaesthetics to orthopaedics; audiology to vascular surgery; pain management to urology. This includes a multi-disciplinary, consultant-led service; triage and clinical assessment of patients; diagnostics and treatment; onward referrals or discharge; and follow-up appointments as necessary.

READ MORE: 'Insourcing' NHS trusts

A number of NHS trusts around the country have already used our framework to reduce waiting lists for patients. For example, having issued a capability assessment for its neurology requirements back in November 2018, one of the providers we work with in the South West identified the most suitable supplier for its needs and agreed a short-term contract for extra clinical capacity. Having been impressed with the high-quality service provided, the trust has since used the framework to access other services, such as cardiology and endoscopy, to ensure patients can be seen more quickly and conveniently.

The new insourcing clinical services framework is one of a number we have developed to better reflect the shifting NHS procurement landscape. As NHS trusts around the country explore new innovative ways to care for patients, our aim is to ensure they have easy access to the very best quality healthcare providers in the most cost-effective way possible.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly impor... more >
CQC welcomes Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust improvements

22/08/2019CQC welcomes Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust improvements

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has been rated ‘Good’ overall by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), a marked improve... more >
Government invests £3.3m in children and young people’s mental health

20/08/2019Government invests £3.3m in children and young people’s mental health

Local investment totalling £3.3m is set to be spent to expand 23 local projects aimed at helping prevent mental illness in children and you... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s ageing population   It’s no secret that the UK’s ageing population presents challenges for the NHS. The fact that we are living longer means greater demand for medical care across a number of healthcare specialisms, one of which is hand surgery. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

10/06/2019Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical advisor and education lead at Helpforce, and Lynn Twinn, talent development consultant, outline the new national traini... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >
Pay and reward in the NHS needs to be taken seriously

10/06/2019Pay and reward in the NHS needs to be taken seriously

Ben Gershlick, senior economics analyst at the Health Foundation, examines the new pay deal for NHS staff.  More than £50bn is sp... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >