Could The Consolidation of Two NHS Trusts Lead to Efficiencies?
Two NHS Trusts that were working together as part of a formal partnership wanted to determine whether consolidation of any of their IT functions could lead to significant efficiencies.
They also wanted to explore the feasibility of sharing services and whether or not it would be cost efficient to outsource some or all of their IT services.
We helped them perform a joint cost and performance benchmarking study to identify efficiency and performance enhancement opportunities in their IT operations.
We took a horizontal and vertical approach, drilling into each service, including the service desk, desktop support, the systems and network teams, the project development group and training. Each was analysed against a matrix of parameters including cost, performance, service delivery quality and process maturity. The individual Trusts were first compared against a reference group of cross-industry and healthcare-specific peer organisations of a similar size and complexity, and from this analysis, discrete areas were identified where sharing showed promise.
In order to assess the advantages of consolidating IT functions, the study then modelled the services of the two IT departments as if they were a single combined operation and compared this larger entity with a different yet corresponding set of similarly sized, multi-site peer organisations to obtain an “apples-to-apples” comparison. The IT Director at one of the Trusts points out: “The approach was very forensic. Indeed, we chose ImprovIT, after an extensive competitive tender process, because of their scientific approach – we were interested in solidly grounded facts, not facile suppositions.”
Our client probably put it best:
“We are clearly already well ahead of the cost efficiency curve among our peers, that yes, there is room for improvement and we [now] know where and how; and that we shouldn’t dive head-first into sharing services which needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. As for outsourcing, it’s very useful to find out upfront that it’s not cost-efficient before spending a lot of time and resources on a feasibility study”.