NHS bodies' take to cloud expense management, says company

Business process improvement and spend reduction cloud services player Software Europe, says it's just added the 150th NHS customer to its roster of expense management clients.

That customer is Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which will joins 21 other NHS customers who have started subscribing to the service, "Expenses Health", to manage staff expenses and reduce expenses costs in the past six months alone claims the supplier.

“We wanted to reduce the costs associated with a paper process for claiming travel and expenses and Expenses Health fitted our specification," confirmed the Trust's deputy director of finance, Paul Green.

"We look forward to implementing a system that our employees will find easy to use, both in the office and on the move.”

Software Europe’s other NHS customers also include 25 newly formed Clinical Commissioning Groups and 4 Clinical Support Units, it adds - growth which has helped propel its turnover up by 18 per cent in the same half year, it adds.

During the year September 2013-September 2014, the cloud service processed £88m of staff expense claims, up from £65m in the previous 12 months; it is also now supporting 770,000 NHS employees’ expense claims, up from 600,000.

“Expenses Health is proving a massive success in the NHS because of its ability to deliver much needed cost-savings and rapid ROI," claimed Deborah Saunby, the company's sales director.

"The NHS spends around 80% of its expenses budget on mileage alone - a figure that Expenses Health is designed to reduce by up to 20 per cent," she added.

The system works by enabling submission and approval of claims online and via mobile apps ad then applies filters such as mileage validation checks and NHS rules based calculations to derive results.

Innovation launch pad

The system also claims "seamless" integration with NHS ESR (Electronic Staff Record) for managing the entire expenses process through to payment accurately and efficiently. Claimants’ benefit too from a quicker and simpler expenses system, linked to their company’s policy, which improves claim accuracy ensuring faster reimbursement, with trackable progress and minimal fuss.

Software Europe recently became one of only nine software companies recommended under the Cabinet Office’s Innovation Launch Pad for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to demonstrate public sector efficiency savings.

It also says it was the first software supplier to use a bi-directional interface to send and receive expenses data with the national NHS’ Electronic Staff Record (ESR), a single Human Resources and Payroll database for all NHS employees and indeed continues to send the largest amount of data to ESR.