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NHS Shared Business Services profits up 88%

Exclusive The joint venture between a private company and the Department of Health that processes payments to GP practices has dramatically improved its finances last year, with an 88% boost in profits.

Annual accounts seen by Pulse show that NHS Shared Business Services grew its profits from £4.2m in 2011 to £7.8m in 2012, with the organisation citing the ‘successful launch’ of a national payment system for the NHS a key driver behind the healthy balance sheet.

The growth in annual profits came on the back of a 30% rise in revenues from £62.4m to £81.1m, and after CCGs were mandated to use the company to process payments as a condition for authorisation.

The large jump in profits compares with an 11% increase in profits last year, with the company attributing the rise to the number of new NHS organisations using it to process payments and the launch of the national Integrated Single Financial Environment (ISFE) that began processing payments for CCGs, CSUs and NHS England from April.

But it comes as GPs complained of major financial concerns over payments from NHS England after they experienced delayed, incorrect and even unidentifiable payments.

Commenting on the profit rise, an NHS SBS spokesperson said: ‘This increase was driven by an increase in the number of NHS Trusts and organisations joining NHS SBS during the year, an increase in the range of services provided by us to NHS to Trusts and organisations and the start of the ISFE implementation programme which saw the successful launch of the new finance platform for NHS England in 2013.’

‘The DH is a 50% shareholder in NHS SBS. In addition to this they currently also receive a licence fee which is separately disclosed in the financial statements. Since 2009 the licence fee has been distributed back to our NHS clients – amounting to £6.2m to date.’

‘In 2005 NHS SBS was set an objective to deliver £224m of back office savings to the NHS by 2014, which we are on target to achieve. These savings are directed back towards increasing front line care in the NHS.’

Readers' comments (11)

  • That's nice. Can I NOW have the money that you owe me presented in a way that I know what it is payment for.....

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  • 88% increase in profits, 99% drop in quality!

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  • What the accounts don't show is the additional cost to NHS "customers" in resolving the messes caused by SBS errors!

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  • Oh for Petes sake.
    I must stop reading this guff as I am retired and cannot stand the rise in my blood pressure.
    I am in close contact with my old practice and what they have told me about how the payments system is NOT working has made me glad I am out of it.
    I most certainly WOULD have had a stroke in my surgery if I had had to deal with this.

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  • This is immoral: a profit making joint venture that CCGs were mandated to use, and practices are struggling to get paid what they are rightly and justly owed: wrong on so many levels. As a Practice Manager, who along with colleagues across the land, are frustrated beyond belief at the complexity and fragmented nature of payments processes, this is unacceptable.

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  • Well I am very pleased to hear that the profits are up

    Perhaps I should invoice them for my time it takes to decipher what the payments are for, when remittence advice bear no relation to monies arriving in practice bank accounts
    In my View there needs to be a quality assurance written into the service specification

    I have written to NHS England via my local area team to complain about the amount of work that has been placed on practice managers trying desparately match invoices to payments received

    Disgraceful service

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  • I work for a supplier to the NHS and supply to a large number of CCG's CSU's. SBS appear to be in complete meltdown.
    SBS enter the same invoices multiple times.
    Cancel invoices without not telling suppliers
    Cancel invoices in error
    Scanning invoices onto the wrong supplier account
    Paying invoices which we have already credited.

    This is happening throughout our industry and is getting worse.

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  • Just wondering if there is ANYONE who thinks that SBS is value for money because I don’t believe that I have ever seen a positive readers comment about them?

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  • I submitted my invoice for appraisal fees in April.My bank details were incorrect which was corrected in May.I am still waiting for my payments.You need to speak to several agencies and send e mails to several people before SBS know there is a problem.Who gets their share of profit? surely not GPs.

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  • Glad they are making a profit ! Pity they don't consider the invoicing departments that have to deal with all the angry calls from providers because SBS have lost their invoices, scanned credit notes as invoices, cancelled invoices with no reason and generally made our lives twice as difficult

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