With an increasing number of NHS providers in deficit, and a £20bn Department of Health cost saving to achieve, it has never been more important to look at effective and cost-efficient ways of managing budgets in the NHS.
Healthcare provider non-pay savings (or, at the very least, 'achieving more for the same') could be made by outsourcing soft facilities management, catering and laundering, HR, IT and communications functions, as well as reviewing utility bills and equipment suppliers, or increasing the use of shared services. There are also options to consider around the outsourcing of pathology, pharmacy and other 'mid-office' services, some of which could potentially be run by a wholly owned subsidiary.
Below, our corporate outsourcing expert Anne explains more about the issues involved in corporate outsourcing, how your organisation might best place itself to make the most of this opportunity and how we can help you navigate the legal issues involved – leaving you to focus on your primary concern of delivering safe, sustainable clinical care.
What we do
We can offer strategic advice relating to your organisation's drivers and objectives, including analysis of whether outsourcing is the best option for you. Our outsourcing support services also include consideration of procurement routes and production of procurement documentation, including evaluation and scoring methodologies, suitably tailored contracts, post-contract education workshops with contract managers and advice regarding any issues during contracts, as well as exit arrangements where necessary.
What we are known for
Health technology-related work is a particular specialism of the department; our lawyers have a depth and breadth of experience which is rarely experienced elsewhere. Our health technology team, led by Helen Simpson, are passionate about the role that technology has to play as a key enabler of better patient care, innovation and change. We routinely advise on the outsourcing of IT infrastructure and application support services as well as the procurement of electronic patient record systems, replacement of patient administration systems, electronic prescribing and medicines management solutions and the use of telehealth.
We will work with you to understand the objectives of your outsourcing project. Some projects may have particular clinical benefits (for example, seeking to consolidate pharmacy services) and others may be driven by seeking efficiencies. In each case, we will ensure that we provide you with advice that is tailored to your project, whilst drawing upon our expertise of working on many of these projects in the health and social care sector. We understand that outsourcing of any services also requires a level of control, step-in rights and clear contingency plans should things go wrong, as well as well-defined contract management provisions to ensure that service delivery levels are consistent over the life of the contract.
Detailed elements of our services
- Consideration of appropriate procurement routes and applicable processes;
- Production of procurement documentation including OJEU, PQQ, ITT and bidder letters as well as suitable evaluation methodologies and assistance throughout the procurement;
- Production of draft service contract, including help in drafting service specifications and levels as well as obligations around assets / staff transfer and any leases or licences of property post-transfer;
- Finalisation of the draft contract with the selected preferred bidder;
- Post-contract education workshops with contract managers so that they understand what is in the contract and how to manage it;
- Help and advice in resolving any service related issues during the term of the contract;
- Help and advice in exiting the arrangements on termination/expiry and re-procurement.