News / Stability pledge on shared service

01 October 2007

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Speaking to the HFMA Scotland annual conference, systems specialist for shared support services at NHS National Services Scotland, Colin White, said that the clear aim now was to establish four to five consortia across Scotland using a common finance system and common business processes.

It is believed that all organisations in each consortia could be operating a single system by April 2009.

Mr White said that once established, a ‘period of stability’ would provide an opportunity to assess the efficiency being achieved and the quality of services, before deciding if further efficiencies could be delivered by greater collaboration.

Most health boards have either set up or joined a consortium, with just NHS Highland deliberating on the best way forward. COA Solutions’ (formerly Cedar) Health Business Suite had already been selected for use as a national finance system, although negotiations are currently under way about the implications of supporting the system across multiple sites.

Mr White said the national licence for the system would save Scotland £2m compared with boards buying licences individually. Earlier plans to set up a hub and spoke model for shared services were abandoned after concerns over the ability to redeploy staff and achieve ambitious savings targets.