NHS trusts reap shared service rewards

Sostenuto software underpins improved processes for Shared service

The Primary Care Informatics Unit (PCIU) responsible for providing IT services to NHS Blackburn with Darwen and NHS East Lancashire has gained tangible benefits from achieving the National Service Desk Accreditation last year. The shared service, which covers a large area in the North West, manages up to 250 calls a day from community staff, close to one hundred GP practices and sixty locations within its remit.

As part of its drive to achieve National Accreditation, the team adopted ITIL based service management software Sostenuto 18 months ago. IT section manager Matt Dyson comments: “Sostenuto was an obvious choice for us because it met all of the requirements for NHS National Service Desk Accreditation, as well as being the most widely recommended solution by other trusts we spoke to. We did look at other solutions but they didn’t come close to Sostenuto’s configuration ability and handling of change management.”

The Accreditation took nine months to achieve, and recognised the successful implementation of robust processes for incident, problem and change management. It brought about measurable benefits by allowing the PCIU to escalate queries to its local service providers directly, thus circumventing the national service desk. Removing a step from the escalation process has meant significant savings in time and effort for the PCIU.

“Users have seen a vast improvement since we implemented Sostenuto,” says Dyson. “Jobs get resolved much faster since we no longer have to go through the national service desk, and we have been able to automatically allocate jobs to engineers via email.”

In addition to its ITIL based modules, the PCIU also uses the order management functionality in Sostenuto to support the activities of its IT purchasing team. This provides it with greater control over the process of purchasing IT equipment, and it is expecting to generate significant savings by making reporting on its overall purchasing available to senior management in the near future.

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