NHS Wales appoints SME to save £750,000 a year on expenses

NHS Wales is aiming to make £750,000 in savings per year through the adoption of an online staff expenses system.

The NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership has signed a five-year contract with Lincoln-based Software Europe to deliver online expense management across Wales.

Software Europe, which only employs 37, is one of nine software companies recommended under the Cabinet Office’s Innovation Launch Pad for SMEs to demonstrate public sector efficiency savings.

Software Europe can provide a bi-directional interface through its online Expenses Health system to send and receive expenses data within the national NHS’ Electronic Staff Record (ESR), a single human resources and payroll database for all NHS employees.

The system removes paper administration and manual processing. Claims input by employees can be validated by Expenses Health. For instance, mileage expenses can be checked in the system against national terms and conditions, and postcode to postcode mileage checks can work out the precise distance travelled.

Any claims over or under the calculated distance can be amended, with an option for the employee to appeal or highlight any mitigating circumstances such as a necessary diversion. The expense claim is then automatically paid into the employee’s bank account with their salary.

The Welsh deal, the value of which has not been disclosed, covers around 194,000 expenses claims per annum, including those from 64,000 regular claimants.

Paul Thomas, assistant director of employment services at NHS Wales Shared Services, said: "We expect the system to help us provide a quicker reimbursement of travel expenses incurred by NHS staff, as well as delivering at least £750,000 cost savings per annum."

Last month the government officially opened up the second round of procurement for its G-Cloud with a framework that hopes to attract new suppliers and services, many of which are likely to be SMEs.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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