benchmarking

GK Transformation provide a comprehensive financial and performance benchmarking service to NHS Trusts.  Whilst the value of Benchmarking should never be overstated, undertaken in a professional manner, it can provide good evidence to support Trusts in developing cost improvement programmes, budget setting and in the identification of  potential cost pressures.

A Proven Methodology

Of course, there are many sources of comparative information available to Trusts, too many to name here, but we  believe that only GK Transformation's proven methodology can deliver meaningful benchmarking information that takes into account the particular and unique aspects of each organisation. This is because we take the time and trouble to actually find out how your services are configured, the levels of performance they are achieving and the range of  services they are providing. All too often benchmarking exercises simply ask you to fill out a form and if you’re lucky they give you a data definition sheet to help you.  At GK Transformtion we believe that this sort of approach, whilst low cost, provides flawed results because the methodology does not take account of the differences in the range or quality of services provided.   The GK approach produces far more reliable outcomes.

Furthermore, our benchmarking approach can be applied to individual departments, directorates or Trust-wide.  Our benchmarking database includes all the clinical, support and corporate services that one would normally expect to see within a Trust, whether it be a small DGH, a split-site Trust, a large Teaching Hospital, a Mental Health or Care Trust.

Benchmarking Outputs

Invariably, our benchmarking service will provide a Trust with 5-6 separate performance measures per budget centre covering costs, staffing, performance and activity against a whole range of different indicators, as appropriate to the  service in question. In some instances, where a client has requested a benchmarking review for a single service/department, we have been able to offer over 50 separate performance indicators.

Quality Service

We’re proud of our benchmarking service, but it’s not just us who think highly of our work.  As one of the very few Consultancies to be accredited to ISO9001:2008, we ask each and every one of our clients what they thought of our  service. To date, we have achieved a client satisfaction rate of over 98.5% and if you’re interested in this service we will be happy to provide you with a list of our many satisfied clients who would be happy to provide references for us.  

Service Costs

All assignments are undertaken on the basis of a bespoke client requirements, the precise cost will be determined by the size of your organisation, the number of services that you wish to benchmark and the number of indicators that you require per service.  That said, in order to provide you with an indication of the service cost, we can generally provide a complete Trust-wide benchmarking service, covering all (issued) budget centres for around £25,000.

1. Data

Our consultant team will request a range of basic trust-wide information from the client, principally relating to cost, activity and quality of service performance of the Trust over the previous year or two.

GK Transformation will undertake a focused benchmarking exercise, using comparative our own benchmarking  database consisting over 130 Trusts and 40 PCTs. Our  database covers most clinical and non-clinical services and functions. 

2. Validation

We will conduct structured interviews with the key service managers of those services that form the scope of this review in order that we gain a good understanding of the services being provided.  It is vitally important that any comparative analysis is based on like for like comparisons and it is not unusual for the range of service provision to vary significantly from Trust to Trust.  For example, a Portering service in one Trust may include Theatre, X-Ray and A&E portering, as well as providing security and transport services in addition to undertaking postal distribution, meal trolley delivery/collection, specimen and drug deliveries, etc. Whereas in other Trusts some or all of these services may not be the responsibility of the portering service, the costs of resources for providing these aspects of service delivery may feature within other departmental budgets.

Establishing a good understanding of your services is therefore imperative if the resultant analysis is to be meaningful.

3. Downstream Service Impacts

Our team will also examine the wider performance issues of the Trust in order to ensure that those services that are the focus of this review are not unduly affecting performance elsewhere within the Trust.  To illustrate, if we consider Portering services once more; any comparison of a portering service should include an examination of how this service is impacting upon areas such as Theatres.  If the Trust’s operating theatres are kept waiting because there are insufficient portering resources, the Trust may be shown to have low costs but poor value for money.  In this way, our benchmarking approach will differentiate between cost and value for money.

4. Service Quality & Value for Money

In order to further enhance our understanding of the value for money position, our Consultant team will seek to establish a good understanding of the quality of service being provided by each service that is included within the review.  As well as reviewing the latest audit reports, reviews and patient satisfaction surveys, our team will undertake some direct observations of the service quality, with the assistance of the client team, if required.

5. Comparative Analysis

Having established a suitable understanding of the service provision at the Trust, the levels of service being provided, the costs and quality of these services, our team will then undertake comparisons of this performance with that of other Trusts.  Typically, we would seek to identify around 20-30 Trusts that are the most comparable with the client organisation.  Adjustments to the comparator information will be made to ensure a like for like comparison and so that the results are presented to the Trust in its own “currency”, i.e. the benchmark Portering costs will relate to the type of Portering service that the client Trust enjoys.

6. KPIs and Metrics

Our team will analyse the performance of each service against a range of differing performance metrics, as this will enable a better overall picture to be formed.  Individual metrics can be misleading and often inappropriate, to turn to our Porters once more as a means of illustration; typically Portering performance is measured in cost/m², however, our approach enables us to consider a number of additional measures such as the Portering cost in relation to outpatient activity, A&E attendances, Theatre activity, Radiology activity, Orthopaedic beds, Orthopaedic outpatients, total number of Trust beds, etc, etc,. In this way the benchmarking analysis provides more meaningful results. Where all the performance indicators are pointing in the same direction, it provides a much stronger evidence base upon which the Trust’s management team can decide their future course of action.

It should be noted that benchmarking and value testing are ultimately a subjective assessment of performance, due to the need to make the adjustments mentioned above. In that respect, our team are always very careful to reinforce the limitations of the approach in all presentational material.  

7. Report & Presentation

Finally our Consultant Team will present the findings of the benchmarking exercise to the project sponsor and if required, to the Trust’s Executive Management Team. The findings will be contained within a written report, having been thoroughly validated as part of our ISO9001 accredited quality assurance system.  Please note, the benchmarking data through the necessity of commercial confidentiality will be presented in an anonymous format.

If you would like to find out more about our Benchmarking service, discuss the types of benchmarks that we are able to provide or to request a costed proposal for your Trust, please contact us through the link on the main menu.