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May 29, 2014

New NHS payments system will slash costs

Service processing £92bn a year gets dramatic overhaul.

By Jimmy Nicholls

The National Health Service (NHS) has updated its payment systems by adopting Tradeshift, a business platform which claims to make payments more efficient and eliminate paper invoicing.

With 300 trusts linked to more than 100,000 suppliers, the NHS shared business service (SBS) processes between 25,000 to 30,000 invoices a day, equating to £92bn in payments every year.

Christian Lanng, chief executive of Tradeshift, said: "Partnering with one of the world’s largest and most well-known healthcare providers feels like a triumph on its own. It is a complex, life-critical industry and one that Tradeshift is perfectly suited to support with our flexible platform."

Entirely paperless, the platform has a system of 15 checks to reduce errors in processing, and is provided free of charge to suppliers. The company boasts that the service is used by 500,000 companies already.

"Implementing e-invoicing is an incredibly important step for us in simplifying and modernising supplier interactions on behalf of our clients, by allowing our organisation and our suppliers to focus on value-adding activities," said Simon Murphy, NHS SBS director of finance and accounting.

"We are looking forward to seeing the benefits throughout the supply chain. Tradeshift also gives us a brilliant platform for better collaboration, and will allow us to scale up and evolve with suppliers, as well as introduce innovative solutions."

Earlier this year the service was rescued from having to upgrade its IT systems, following a negotiation by the British government to extend Windows XP support.

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