Excellence in healthcare ICT service delivery

McKesson UK – McKesson Shared Services – University of Leicester payroll

When a large organisation decides to outsource a service, the ideal is for its users to notice no difference – or to see an improvement if they do.

When University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust was looking for a contractor to complete the last 18 months of a payroll contract, these considerations were very much to the fore.

The trust wanted to take advantage of the economies of scale offered by shared services, but without some of the disadvantages, such as a less personal, or less tailored, relationship with its employees.

“We wanted to provide a seamless quality of service to our employees. We wanted the contractor to be an extension of trust services,” says Pete Rogers, senior project manager. “We didn’t want it to look as though the service had been outsourced; we wanted it to look like a UHL service.”

Setting standards

After problems with a previous provider – which led to the end of the contract – UHL set high standards for its new service provider, McKesson Shared Services.

“The original proposition was to replace our existing contract,” explains Rogers. “[McKesson] were more focused on the customer and our needs. They were very motivated, and very clear about the service we wanted for every employee.”

One result is that staff working on the UKL contract can only work on the UHL contract. “They have access to our Intranet and shared ownership of it,” Rogers continues. “On the phone, staff have direct access. It doesn’t look as if they are calling an outside provider, it looks as if the service provider is part of the trust.”

Operating criteria are also strict. The trust needs to make around 16,000 monthly payments and cover 1,000 staff who are on weekly pay. Yet its contractor must achieve 99% accuracy. McKesson has been able to meet these targets, whilst providing support to a healthcare organisation that works around the clock.

“We are a 24×7 operation. So employees need to be able to log their own cases, rather than wait for an assistance centre to open between 8am and 6pm,” says Rogers.

“The contract is very specific. We have a high number of key performance indicators that are very, very customer focused. People expect you to pay them; if they raise a query they want to know it is being dealt with responsibly. It is important how their queries are received and handled, how quickly they are responded to, and how quickly it moves to closure.”

Providing support

The McKesson call centre handling the trust’s work uses the Remedy case management system to log and deal with queries and to provide an audit trail. “We are using Remedy to give a seamless service between phone and email, and again this is an area where we’ve been very customer focused,” Rogers adds.

UHL has put in place a strong framework for managing the contract, including weekly teleconferences at an operational level, which are set up to address any issues as quickly as possible.

Then, there are monthly formal service reviews using service management reports and key performance indicators. Daily and weekly reporting from the system’s database also allows the trust to monitor calls to the service provider from the strategic level, down to individual cases.

“We all appreciate that something can go wrong, but when there is the volume of transactions we have, even a 1% error rate becomes a massive number,” says Rogers.

“That is why our demands for accuracy are so high: our focus is on the customer. We design our service to ensure we provide a response for everything. When an employee has a query the key point is to ensure they feel it is being addressed and that everyone agrees an effective resolution.

“That is behind the way we’ve defined our service contract – so staff can phone, get it dealt with, and get back to the day job.”



The E-Health Insider Awards 2010 in association with BT seek out and reward outstanding work within the UK healthcare IT sector. Entries are open now on the dedicated awards website.


The deadline for entries has been extended to 11 June.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, 6 October in the Grand Hall at the Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden, London. For more information or to reserve a table, please visit the awards website.