Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) have today announced a pioneering strategic partnership, which will explore new opportunities for the digital transformation of a range of back and middle office functions.
The initiative builds on the success of an existing partnership between NHS SBS and the leading heart and lung hospital for the delivery of finance and procurement services.
As part of the agreement, the two organisations will work together to consider how innovative technologies can be used to develop new modern ways of working across the Trust's corporate and admin services.
NHS SBS will support Royal Papworth Hospital to review current working practices, learn from best practice in other global organisations and access the very latest back office technology.
Key to this will be staff at the Trust working alongside the digital innovation team at NHS SBS, known as the DigiLab, which works to design and develop next generation services.
The aim is to help Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust develop truly best-in-class back office services, ensuring resources are used in the most effective way and ultimately enhancing patient care.
Following the initial project with Royal Papworth Hospital, NHS SBS plans to develop new shared services models to benefit the wider NHS, helping to support its efforts to futureproof the entire health service back office.
The partnership will also benefit via input from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS Improvement (NHSI), with representation from both on the programme steering group to ensure it is aligned to the national agenda.
Stephen Posey, Chief Executive of Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:
"We are known for clinical innovation but we also want to be as innovative as possible in the way we run our hospital. Our corporate and administration functions play a vital role in supporting our clinical services and this partnership is an excellent opportunity to review the way we do things and look at how we can improve.
"We are pleased to be a pioneer for this project and hope it will eventually help other NHS organisations to transform their back office functions for the benefit of patients and the public."
David Morris, Managing Director of NHS Shared Business Services, said:
"We are delighted to be partnering with one of the country's leading hospitals and excited by the prospect of working with Royal Papworth to help take the NHS back office to the next level.
"The new health and social care secretary has been very clear about the vital role new technology has to play in a future NHS. This new partnership is further indication of our commitment to invest in back office innovations, which can be transformative for NHS organisations all around the country."
In 2017, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust partnered with NHS SBS to modernise its finance, accounting and procurement processes.
Since then, the two organisations have worked together closely to ensure the Trust is at the forefront of efforts by NHS hospitals to meet national efficiency imperatives, such as those in Lord Carter's review and the NHS Five Year Forward View.
The new initiative announced today will begin with a comprehensive assessment of the Trust's corporate and admin services, to identify where new technology could be used to improve existing systems and processes.