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January 10, 2012updated 22 Aug 2016 11:03am

NHS Northamptonshire gets a grip on service levels with new tool

Adopts Civica's Service Level Agreement Manager, or SLAM

By Jason Stamper

NHS Northamptonshire announced it is implementing Civica’s Service Level Agreement Manager (SLAM) software platform to try and improve how the Primary Care Trust (PCT) plans, monitors and reports the activities it commissions.

NHS Northamptonshire commissions approximately £1 billion of healthcare services for 680,000 local residents every year.

Paul Birch, Head of Contracting & Business Intelligence, NHS Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire commissioning support hub, said, "GP practices are demanding more accurate pricing information earlier. We have chosen Civica as our new partner based on their ability to bring a combination of technology, people and business processes as well as expertise in local NHS trusts and the market to move forward with improved management and control of commissioning. "

SLAM is a commissioning support tool. It is claimed to improve the visibility of business rules that are applied to data such as Point of Delivery (POD) allocation and local pricing, as well as improving the management and control of reference data.

"PCTs commission a huge number of services across multiple providers, such as hospital theatre bookings, community healthcare, bed space and consultants," said David Roots, managing director, Civica Health and Social Care. "SLAM ensures PCTs get exactly what they pay for, which has never been more important as they face increasing demands and decreasing budgets."

The platform will receive files directly from acute providers as well as NHS Connecting for Health (CFH) Secondary Uses Service (SUS data). This ensures that accurate local pricing is automatically applied where contracts between commissioning bodies and local providers require that nationally agreed Payment by Results (PbR) pricing to be superseded.

The platform’s optimisation of resources towards quality and value for money analysis is critical for NHS Northamptonshire because it is in the process of building business-critical systems to underpin its role as a future support organisation for PCT clusters and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

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"As the NHS migrates to the CCG cluster operating model, trusts need to better analyse growing levels of national and local level commissioning data down to individual patients and GP practices," said David Roots, managing director, Civica Health and Social Care. "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."

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