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NHS SBS and Norfolk ICS paving the way in finance and procurement

Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) and NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) have entered into a landmark agreement that will see NHS SBS provide an integrated finance and procurement service to all the trusts presided over by the ICS for the next decade.

The partnership is the first ever NHS contract for the delivery of consolidated corporate services over an ICS’s full footprint – the collaboration is said to “set the standard for the future of finance and procurement” in the health sector.

As part of their project, NHS SBS and Norfolk and Waveney ICS have developed a bespoke Insight Diagnostic solution, which compares existing finance and procurement measures in individual organisations to national requirements and thus informs future decisions around best practice.

The analysis, which can “easily” be implemented at other ICSs across the country, investigates inefficiencies and determines how and where improvements can be made – at Norfolk and Waveney the process identified the potential of £7.3m worth of savings over the next decade.

The resulting launch of the Procure-to-Pay service at Norfolk and Waveney set a mark for future best practice in finance and procurement processes in the NHS.

Stephen Beeson, Deputy Director of Finance at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and ICS Programme Lead, said: “NHS SBS has a long and successful track-record of delivering shared services and managing central platforms for a large proportion of the NHS – so this was obviously an important factor for us.

“The efficiencies and cost savings that come from this partnership will undoubtedly benefit the ICS, but equally important is moving to a futureproofed shared service that, from a technology perspective, provides additional benefits – so we don’t move to a new platform and stand still.

“Having a standardised system means we can also get on the front foot when it comes to reporting as an ICS – looking at things horizontally as well as vertically and enabling new levels of automation for things like national reporting.”

Erika Bannerman, Managing Director at NHS SBS, said: “The size and scale of our proven shared service operation means we are uniquely placed to support the government’s healthcare reforms and invest in the future success of ICSs.

“Our collaboration with the forward-thinking Norfolk and Waveney ICS highlights the opportunity that exists to instil system-wide best practice right across the country. 

“High-quality, consistent and value-for-money corporate services, which can also be tailored for a specific ICS, ensure enhanced reporting via real time data across organisational boundaries, and deliver substantial efficiency and productivity savings – time and money that can be redirected to frontline care.”

More information on the Insight Diagnostic solution is available here.

NHE March/April 2024

NHE March/April 2024

A window into the past, present and future of healthcare leadership.

- Steve Gulati, University of Birmingham 

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