NHS Northamptonshire has selected software from Civica to help it supply information to its clinical commissioning groups.

The primary care trust, which is in a cluster with NHS Milton Keynes, is to use Civica’s Service Level Agreement Manager to provide CCGs with information about activity.

The PCT currently commissions around £1billion of services for 680,000 patients and aims to become a commissioning support organisation covering three CCGs.

Paul Birch, head of contracting and business intelligence for NHS Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire commissioning support hub, said the PCT has chosen SLAM to replace its in-house solution.

He told EHI Primary Care: “The in-house solution was helpful in some ways because it was ours and we built it, but we just found it too difficult to maintain.”

Birch said the PCT selected the SLAM tool because it was widely used by acute providers, including Northamptonshire’s two main hospitals. 

He added that it also had the ability to provide information on local pricing and contract agreements.

“It is able to turn around information quickly and reflect local business rules that we have agreed with our providers and enable us to get that information out quickly and easily to CCGs.”

Birch said the local CCGs were looking for information that would reflect the contracts agreed with local providers including local prices and agreements such as outpatient arrangements not covered by the outpatient procedures list.

He added: “I think one of the fundamentals is to have accurate data down to the contract level. That and the reconciliation is a big thing for CCGs.”

Birch said SLAM would be one of a suite of products that would provide information and reporting to CCGs from the commissioning support hub.

SLAM can also generate mental health data, which will be important as commissioners prepare for the introduction of Payment by Results to mental health.

The PCT plans to run the software in shadow form this year and use it for live contracting management for the 2012-13 financial year.

David Roots, managing director of Civica Health and Social Care, said trusts needed to better analyse growing levels of national and local level commissioning data down to individual patients and GP practices as the NHS moves towards the CCG operating model.

He added: “Automated and more reliable reporting processes built on proven software platforms will optimise finance teams’ reporting resources and analytical capabilities helping to drive the £20 billion system efficiencies demanded by the NHS.”