News / New ISFE is step towards ‘one NHS finance system’

15 December 2022 Steve Brown

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has won the contract to deliver the next generation of the integrated single financial environment (ISFE), which will go live in April 2024.

The deal, worth over £100m, will provide a managed service including a financial and accounting system until at least 2031. The new deal extends the relationship between NHS England and NHS SBS, which has provided the current ISFE service since 2012.erika.bannerman L

The original system was introduced to provide a common accounting platform for NHS England and the then newly established clinical commissioning groups. It uses a common chart of accounts, meaning all commissioning bodies accounted and reported in a consistent way. The original contract was due to finish in 2021, but was extended for three years to support the transition to integrated care boards.

The new contract will provide a cloud-based system and includes a ‘slicker, more user-friendly interface’, the company said. It will process around £155bn of payments each year and will be used initially by NHS England and commissioning bodies.

The corporate services provider said that benefits of the new system included real-time and snapshot reporting for swift and informed decision-making, while automatic data validation checks would enhance accuracy. Using software as a service (SAAS) technology, the platform will also be automatically patched and upgraded, enhancing functionality, stability and security with no downtime for end-users.

NHS England and commissioning organisations will go live in April 2024 and the service will be made available to other NHS organisations after this.

Erika Bannerman (pictured), managing director of NHS SBS, said the company was ‘uniquely equipped’ to continue providing the ISFE to an evolving healthcare system.

‘Moving towards a unified service and platform for NHS trusts and commissioners is a huge step forward in achieving the vision we share with NHS England of “one NHS finance system”,’ she said

‘The new service is not just a continuation of what came before,’ she added. ‘At its heart is a single, scalable, integrated, cloud-based finance platform, which is designed by the NHS for the NHS. Meeting the health system's current and future needs, it enables collaboration at local, regional and national levels, and drives effectiveness, efficiency, continuous improvement and best practice.’

NHS SBS is a joint venture between the Department of Health and Social Care and Sopra Steria.


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