NHS England (NHSE) is planning to move and integrate its enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to the cloud, and has issued a call to software suppliers seeking their advice regarding the project's feasibility.
In a Prior Information Notice (PIN) issued last week, the organisation said the 'Discovery Project' will build on the work being performed within the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) and Integrated Single Finance Environment (ISFE) programmes.
The NHSE said that this PIN is explicitly "not linked to a contracting opportunity." Rather, its purpose is to identify the pros and cons of choosing an integrated ERP versus separate finance and ESR systems.
The ESR system is part of the Workforce Services Directorate within NHS Business Services Authority, and almost every NHS organisation in England uses ESR to manage payroll and HR records. The current system is based on Oracle's e-Business suite and is managed by the NHS ESR Central Team, which works in partnership with IBM to oversee the operational delivery of the solution.
The ISFE is the financial platform that allows NHSE to run its core financial processes. The key functionalities of ISFE include general ledger and financial accounting; cash management; management reporting; and VAT services.
Different NHSE organisations have also developed their own business processes on the top of this platform, which creates significant complexity.
The PIN issued by NHS England suggests that approximately 450 organisations would come under the scope of the new system, including all integrated care systems, foundations trusts and over 1.7 million employees.
The potential functionalities sought in the new system include HR, payroll, finance, procurement, recruitment, learning, talent management, and planning and budgeting.
NHS England plans to hold an engagement session on the 19th October to discuss the opportunity with software vendors. All queries need to be submitted by noon on the 15th October.
The NHS expects to release a recommendation as part of the draft outline business case by January 2021.
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