At the request of the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (C&W), the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (RMH) and the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBH), we were asked to carry out a review....

of the corporate and back-office functions of these three Trusts in order to determine the feasibility of collaborative working between them.

The exercise, in three parts, considered the relative performance of each service, through conducting a benchmarking exercise, developed an organisational model for collaborative working and identified an action plan for the implementation of this intra-NHS Joint Venture.

The exercise was concerned with a range of corporate and back-office functions including:

Patient Transport Services (PTS), Soft FM Services, Hard FM Services, HR Services, Payroll, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Procurement, ICT, Telecoms and Pathology.

Consequently, we deployed a multi-disciplinary team including Associate specialists with backgrounds in Finance, HR, Facilities Management, IM&T, Telecommunications and Pathology services.

The benchmarking exercise supporting this review was itself undertaken in two parts, providing a comparative performance analysis with both other NHS organisations and also with “World Class” organisations.

We then provided the three NHS Trusts with a clear indication of how each was performing in relation to their corporate an back-office services and were able to develop a forward strategy based on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each organisation and service. Taking into account the market opportunities, our Transformation Team also provided procurement advice in relation to each aspect of the forward strategy including options for joint venture, public private partnership and outsourcing.  In each case providing proposed timetables, procurement routes and indications of likely market interest. Furthermore, we were able to provide all three Trusts with strong indications of any likely financial benefits that would be achieved from collaboration on a service by service basis (in total circa £5million of cost improvement potential was agreed).

As one might imagine, when looking at the potential for merging services and outsourcing, there would be a risk of defensiveness and territorialism amongst the service managers within the three Trusts. Taking this into account we spent some considerable time with each service at each of the three Trusts to ensure that all stakeholders were fully engaged and listened to. The resulting strategy was one that had the full support of each Trust and this was in no small part due to the approach taken by our Transformation Team.