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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.’