Ten NHS trusts in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have renewed their contracts with the NHS Shared Business Service (SBS) in a deal worth over £13m that will see existing contracts extended by four years.
NHS SBS is a shared business service joint venture between Steria and the NHS that uses an Oracle platform and a single set of processes to run the back offices of NHS trusts. About 100 NHS trusts now use the service.
It promises trusts up to 30% cost savings and even paid the NHS back £1m this year.
The 10 NHS trusts that have renewed contracts are: NHS Hampshire, NHS Portsmouth, NHS Isle of Wight, NHS Southampton, Solent NHS Trust, Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and South Central Strategic Health Authority.
SBS will now carry out an automation project which covers Payroll services and organisational changes required to meet GP Consortia needs.
"NHS SBS plays an integral role in our strategy to build speed and reliability into our systems through automated processes. We are currently undergoing significant change to meet the requirements of the new NHS structure, and with pressure on budgets we are making every effort to achieve efficiencies in the process. NHS SBS provides a wealth of management information, which means we will have improved financial controls, better systems management and a more robust IT infrastructure," said Chris Palmer, Director of Finance at Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust.
With the government eager to cut back office processing costs, shared services are likely to become more common in the public sector. SBS is seen as one of the more successful examples.