Modern technology key to improving financial planning and achieving savings targets
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) will outline how technology can enable NHS providers to achieve transformational change with a collaborative approach to financial planning on stand C8 at the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) conference (9-11 December 2015, Hilton London Metropole).
Advanced will unveil the latest version of its proven NHS budgeting and forecasting solution, Collaborative Planning, at the annual event.
The system includes new functionality that has been developed to support the Future-Focused Finance (FFF) initiative and NHS England’s care collaboration vanguards, making it easier for organisations to devolve greater budgetary responsibility to clinicians and unlock major efficiencies.
The Government’s Autumn Spending Review announced that the NHS will receive a funding increase of £3.8 billion in 2016-17 to help mitigate growing financial pressures. This will be achieved by front loading part of the £8.4 billion already pledged by 2021. £1.5 billion will be diverted to the Better Care Fund, to support more integrated health and social care.
Nick Wilson, Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions (Public Sector & Enterprise division), says, “While the Government’s funding increase is welcome, the reality is that the NHS still faces a mountainous task to realise savings of £22 billion by 2020-21.Trusts have amounted a £1.6 billion deficit in the first six months of this financial year, so drastic action is needed to support effective service planning.
“Many NHS organisations must accept that the answers they need do not reside in spreadsheets, but in modern, sophisticated technology which will not only make operations more efficient but support effective strategic decision making through the presentation of meaningful data insights.
Collaborative Planning provides clear, real-time, end-to-end visibility across the planning, budgeting and forecasting cycle to increase transparency and control within a single, unified solution. The latest version includes new ‘in memory’ processing to offer faster access to accurate, financial information and improved budget modelling capabilities. This in turn helps organisations to increase efficiency and add greater strategic value.
Furthermore, the introduction of separate ‘working set’ facilities, which have been developed in conjunction with one of Advanced’s longstanding NHS customers, enable users to now easily clone data from live budget models. This provides enhanced what-if based decision support capabilities to assist clinicians to maintain tighter control over spending and reduce the risk to frontline service delivery for patients.
Wilson adds, “Forward thinking Trusts that have implemented intuitive budgeting and forecasting software have already realised massive efficiency benefits. By facilitating the greater sharing of up-to-date financial data between finance and clinicians, solutions such as Collaborative Planning are key to creating a better and sustainable NHS.
“Giving managers the ability to assess the impact of their decisions also enables organisations to streamline costs and achieve finance best practice throughout an organisation, maximising value for patients.”
Collaborative Planning integrates with the NHS Electronic Staff Record application and all leading financial management solutions. The web-based system is used by several NHS organisations, including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Mersey Care NHS Trust.