NHS Shared Business Services expands through acquisition

NHS Shared Business Services acquires to grow customer base and expand offering

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has acquired the human resources (HR), payroll and pension services arm of McKesson UK.

Set up 10 years ago, NHS SBS is a joint venture between Sopra Steria and the NHS. 

The service uses an Oracle platform and a single set of processes to run the back offices of NHS trusts. It currently provides functions such as payroll, pensions, recruitment and HR administration to 82 NHS organisations. 

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, will add an extra 44 contracts in this area. NHS SBS managing director David Morris said the deal enables the service to broaden its offering to NHS organisations.

“In the face of immense budgetary pressures and tight resources, it is vital that NHS business support functions – such as recovering overpayments, processing the monthly payroll run and processing expenses payments – are carried out smoothly and accurately,” he said. 

“We have already proven our capabilities in this respect and now with this acquisition we can broaden the support we provide across the NHS, and ultimately free-up more funds and resource for frontline care.”

NHS SBS is often cited as an example of a successful public sector shared service and joint venture between the public and private sectors. It provides services to all NHS commissioning organisations and a range of business support services for around half of NHS provider trusts.

It has about 1,600 staff with a mix of NHS and commercial expertise, and processes more than £170bn of NHS payments each year, paying 290,000 NHS employees. It is expected to achieve £1bn of cost savings for the NHS by 2020. It reached its original 10-year target of £224m of cost savings in 2014, a year earlier than expected.

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