The PS Hub team are working together to improve UCL’s cash flow
28 August 2019
Since joining the PS Hub, the NHS Billing team have made a series of improvements to streamline their service. UCL can now more effectively bill for and recover the +£35m it recharges to NHS Trusts and other government health providers each year, directly improving our cash flow
Since the NHS Billing team joined the Professional Services Hub (PS Hub), they've have made a series of improvements to streamline their service.
These improvements mean that UCL can more effectively bill for and recover the +£35m it recharges to NHS Trusts and other government health providers each year, directly improving UCL’s cash flow.
What do the NHS Billing team do?
The NHS Billing team are responsible for recharging the salary costs of UCL employed clinical academics to NHS Trusts and other government health providers. This involves close liaison with academic departments, HR services and the healthcare partners. Upwards of 300 invoices are raised each month.
In order to manage these recharges, the team prepares, maintains, tracks and reviews the information required to ensure timely approval and payment.The team works closely with the Credit Control team to support the recovery of outstanding debt.
Before the team moved to the PS Hub
Before joining the PS Hub, the team was working to reduce a five-month backlog of invoices. This backlog resulted from an increase in volumes and an increasing reliance on the NHS Billing team to manage the end to end process.
The systems and processes were ill-suited to the increased demand and, as a result, the accuracy of data suffered, roles and responsibilities became clouded and the operation was less efficient.
This led to delays in recharging, increased the time taken to recover funds and added further complexity to some departments’ financial planning.
How we are improving UCL’s cash flow
Joining the PS Hub provided the NHS Billing team with the opportunity to review and improve their processes.
Since the NHS Billing Team joined the PS Hub, the team have cleared a backlog of five months’ worth of invoices, which equates to reclaiming UCL spend of £10.5m.
NHS Billing have also been collaborating with other teams in the Hub to improve service quality and provide more aligned and customer-focused services:
- The team re-designed the end-to-end institutional process, addressing a series of pain points and knowledge gaps.
- The team streamlined their internal processes, removing inefficiencies and duplication.
- The new process reinforces the need to capture data correctly and allocates clear responsibility to all roles involved.
Delivering and attending training
- The team collaborated with the HR Business Partners and ran a series of training sessions to ensure all functions involved are up to date on the new process.
- The team have been sharing best practice and improving their ways of working. This has helped cross-team collaboration, enabled opportunities for professional development and built greater resilience into the process. This also ensures we have no ‘bottle-necks’ in the process or backlog in workload.
Improving performance measurements
- The team have defined some monthly KPI’s so we can: better track our progress, have clearer conversations with departments regarding any issues and more easily identify any training requirements.
- A new NHS Billing action plan has been developed so we can identify where more support may be required and further improvements that could be made.