NHS Finance

07.04.20

NHS SBS working to ‘maintain the level of support the NHS needs’

Facing unprecedented challenges due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the NHS has needed all of its resources and collective support to ensure it maintains capacity to safely and effectively treat patients. That has included not just its frontline operations, but equally throughout its behind-the-scenes operations and NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) are looking to rise to the challenge.

Almost two thirds of the NHS are dependent on NHS SBS to assist with paying their employees, managing their finance and IT systems and helping them purchase goods and services.

In light of the challenges Covid-19 has brought about, the 1,500 employees at NHS SBS have a key role working to support the behind-the-scenes operations to keep the frontline working. Alongside their fellow NHS organisations, accountants, payroll clerks, procurement specialists and IT support staff have been keeping the wheels turning for the NHS system.

Despite having transitioned almost 100% of its UK workforce to remote working in less than two weeks, NHS SBS has continued to process weekly and monthly payrolls for almost 400,000 NHS employees at 90 different NHS organisations, achieving minimal interruption to its usual service.

That included the thousands of new and returning members of NHS staff from retirement, processing and facilitating more than £1m of urgent salary payments to these additional NHS workers in just a week.

READ MORE: NHS SBS: A 21st Century NHS

READ MORE: NHS SBS: Insourcing in the NHS

Meanwhile, some 25,000 purchase orders have been sent out to suppliers by the NHS SBS teams despite remote working, ensuring the necessary goods and services continue to arrive at the NHS organisations who require them.

That includes paying the invoices for such goods and services, both within the NHS and from suppliers, with more than 88,000 invoices having been paid, including £642m reaching organisations that are helping the NHS to provide services, and £250m which has been collected and receipted on behalf of NHS organisations, helping cash flow to enable the purchase of valuable equipment and additional staffing.

A major change to NHS funding, which NHS SBS helped facilitate alongside NHS England and NHS Improvement, has seen £20bn shifted around the NHS to exactly where it is needed during this unprecedented period.

David Morris, NHS SBS Managing Director, said: “Our top priority since the outbreak of Covid-19 has been to safeguard our own workforce, whilst ensuring that NHS employees are paid, orders are processed, NHS suppliers are paid, and that cash continues to move around the NHS.

“Maintaining the level of support the NHS needs, whilst enabling home-working on such a large scale, has required a monumental effort. By the 1 April, our IT team had ensured that an additional 750 NHS SBS employees were able to work from home safely and securely.

“What has really impressed me is the absolute commitment of our teams to help our NHS colleagues in whatever way we can. We are very much part of the NHS family and it’s clear just how much all of us want to support those working on the frontline.

“Whilst some of what we have classified as non-urgent activity has been affected, we’ve worked closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to ensure that business-critical services remain in place – helping minimise disruption for hospitals and other NHS organisations at this critical time.”

Our NHS service has been a source of national pride throughout this coronavirus outbreak and continues to be so, achieving this by heroic efforts and selfless acts not just in our hospitals and on the frontline of care, but behind that too, supporting one another to help tackle and overcome challenges in these uncertain times.

Are you an NHS supplier or have an innovative solution to help the healthcare service in this moment? To learn more about how we can help get you and your message in front of those in the healthcare sector submit your details and one of our specialists will be in touch.

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