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NHS Shared Business Services profits up 11%

The joint venture between a private company and the Department of Health that provides the NHS with business and back-office support has markedly increased its profits in the last financial year.

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), run as a joint venture between the Department of Health and private company Steria, has reported revenue growth from £53.3m to £62.4m for the 2011/12 financial year, while profits before tax and fees were up from £3m to £4.6m.

The company's accounts stated that the 17% year-on-year revenue rise has been achieved by growing the client base significantly, with 45% of all NHS trusts now making use of its services.

The figures come after the NHS Commissioning Board signed a £15.8m deal with NHS SBS in April for all CCGs in England to use the service. 

The GPC said it had ‘serious concerns' about the deal after major problems with GP payment delays and administrative errors.

In a statement, NHS SBS said it would be playing a ‘key role' in the implementation of the Government's NHS reforms and the surplus meant it was able to return £1.9m back to its NHS clients. 

Based in the UK and India, NHS SBS provides the NHS with back-office support in finance and accounting, payroll and HR, family health services and commercial procurement solutions.

Commenting on the financial results, the company's chief executive John Neilson said NHS SBS expects to record further growth as the NHS reforms are further rolled out: ‘In 2011, the Government's strategy for NHS reform changed the landscape, and we have seen considerable organisational change across the NHS.

‘We continue to work with our clients to support them through these changes, and I believe NHS SBS has a key role to play during the transition to clinical commissioning over the next two years. NHS SBS grew on many fronts in 2011, expanding our range of services, growing client numbers and developing our capability to support the NHS.'

NHS SBS chairman David Edmonds added: ‘We worked closely in 2011 with a large number of clients going through reorganisation to meet the future requirements of the Health and Social Care Act… our focus in 2012 is to continue to drive growth and bring greater innovation to business support services in the NHS.'