Options Appraisal Opposes Outsourcing and Offshoring of Prescription Pricing Division, NHS Business Services Authority

ESSU was commissioned by UNISON Northern to prepare a detailed report on a PPD/KPMG proposal to outsource and offshore prescription processing. This comprehensive report examines value for money, risk assessment, insourcing trends, public cost analysis and other issues. A decision to outsource was expected in November 2006 but has been postponed indefinetly following intervention by the Health Minister.

The Prescription Pricing Division (PPD) of the NHS Business Services Authority is responsible for the processing and payment of prescriptions from GPs and 10,000 pharmacists. It provides an important financial, prescribing and drug information service to over 35,000 prescribers in England; the help with health costs service to over 5m patients annually and operates the European Health Insurance Card.

The PPD processes 755m items on NHS prescriptions annually which have a direct bearing on the £8 billion NHS drugs bill.

  • Develops a more comprehensive evaluation matrix using 30 criteria – quality, continuity and accuracy; flexibility to cope with future policy and social change; capability; finance; contribution to the NHS whole system; corporate framework; and quality of employment.

  • Assesses the direct and indirect employment impact of the options.

  • Assesses the risks of offshoring and reassesses the risks taking into account evidence of optimism bias.

  • Carries out a value for money assessment which shows that the in-house option has substantial advantages on viability, desirability and achievability grounds.

  • Takes account of transaction and public sector costs.


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This document was created by Dexter Whitfield on 2006-11-03 12:28:25.
This document was last modified by Dexter Whitfield on 2008-02-04 12:09:22.
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