IT consulting deal will save NHS ‘millions’

Link: NPfIT could stunt further IT spending

The joint venture beginning on 1 April 2005, called NHS Shared Business Services, aims to save money over the next decade by improving and expanding the range of corporate services provided for the NHS. It aims to get more NHS Trusts to use centralised service centres to carry out back office work, such as payment of invoices, VAT returns, debt collection and bank account reconciliation.

In a statement the DoH said that NHS Trusts contracting to the new partnership would save ‘at least 20% on their current in-house costs’. It added that savings ‘will be available for investment in frontline services and patient care’.

Xansa will take a 50% share in the existing centres currently operated by NHS Shared Financial Services. The consultancy firm will invest people, resources and expertise to support the existing centres, in order to provide increased capacity, optimise services and expand the service portfolio to include payroll and e-commerce, for example.

Health Minister John Hutton said: ‘Moving ahead in this way will help the NHS streamline back office functions, reduce bureaucracy and generate substantial savings for reinvestment in frontline services.

‘The joint venture will generate significant cost savings, enough to pay the annual salaries of over 3,000 GPs or 12,000 nurses.

‘By entering into this partnership, we are utilising private sector experience to both improve and expand the range of corporate functions provided for the NHS. It’s good news for the NHS and for taxpayers.’

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