Industry Research : NHS Business Services Authority Uses IT to Cut Costs
The NHS Business Services Authority has said that using IT to automate its business processes and the internet to replace paper and phone has helped cut its running costs by nearly 40% and accumulated savings of more than £160m.
In its annual report and accounts for 2010-11, the NHS special health authority serving both England and Wales says that savings has been achieved by "leveraging technology", such as scanning and intelligent character recognition in its prescription processing system and voice automation in its customer contact centre.
The document says the authority has been providing and promoting internet access to services, so that more expensive paper and telephone based access is being replaced.
The centralisation of services to all its business streams, including HR, finance, commercial, property and facilities, imaging, IT infrastructure and call centre functions, and the reorganisation of its operational capability, helped the authority to "maximise synergy savings", according to the report.
After a lengthy tendering process, the authority has signed a non-cancellable outsourcing deal with Capita for dental and IT infrastructure services, which is it says will deliver "major savings" over its lifetime. The report reveals the £107m total cost of the contract over nine years, compared with £133m announced last year.
Other areas which have delivered savings are re-shaping of services such as NHS Protect and Dental Reference Services, and putting in place professional contract and service management of key suppliers to improve efficiency and value.
In a foreword to the report, the chair of NHS Business Services Authority Paul Rich said: "It is also a priority of the NHSBSA to ensure a continual focus on driving down our costs and making our services more efficient for the benefit of the taxpayer and the wider NHS.
"This has never been more important than within the current financial and economic environment.
"I am proud of our record in reducing our costs because allowing for inflation and the increased volumes referred to above, our running costs are now almost £60m lower than our equivalent costs when we were established in 2005-06."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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