NHS Property Services is procuring a suite of management systems and business intelligence tools to save customers money by creating more flexible work spaces.
NHS Property Services was formed in 2013 and manages 10% of the NHS estate, which is 3,500-4000 buildings. It aims to use its scale and portfolio management to keep costs to a minimum.
Information collected by the organisation includes how a customer is using their building and whether they have any spare space that could be used for another purpose, thereby saving money.
Kelly Olsen, who became chief information officer of the service in November 2015, said NHS England’s Five Year Forward View emphasised the financial pressure the NHS is under and creating more flexible work spaces is an area where significant savings can be made.
“We are talking millions. We have already saved £15 million for the NHS and there’s definitely more to come. Business intelligence is key to making further savings,” she told Digital Health.
“BI data collection and turning that into information is absolutely critical to create that value.”
The organisation is using a “plethora of systems” at the moment and relies on a lot of spreadsheets.
It is looking to buy a; property estate management system; a facilities management system; a new finance system; collaboration tools like email and video conferencing; and customer relationship management systems.
It is still going through the OJEU process, but expects to have new estate and financial management systems deployed towards the end of this year. Olsen expects to have the full suite of new systems in place by mid-2017.
“Sharing information and data has become so much easier because of the way that systems have been written, so to be able to share data with other people we will have a full service portal for employees and customers and which can extend to other parties.”
She said NHS Property Service’s aim is to buy commercial products and configure, not customise them, as products available are already very stable.
Also key to the organisation’s IT strategy is plans to move all applications into the cloud, thereby increasing staff mobility by making information available anywhere, Olsen said.