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10 September 2020

South Central Ambulance Service automates business processes - Turnkey

Pro bono project enables trust to meet NHS policy requirements and increase operational efficiency to help it focus on front line services during and after Covid-19

London – 10 September 2020; Risk management and cyber security consultancy Turnkey Consulting is to work with South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) to automate some of its core business processes as the foundation trust looks to increase its operational efficiency and meet wider NHS policy requirements. A successful rollout could make this the blueprint for other NHS Trusts.

The project will see Turnkey upgrade the current Micro Focus SCAS Identity Management (IDM) platform and automate human resources (HR) and incident management processes. SCAS will be able to move away from its current manual system, which relies on downloading, scanning and faxing paper forms, thereby meeting the NHS mandate that fax machines are no longer to be used.

Turnkey will integrate the IDM platform with the centralised NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR) HR system using a combination of process automation and electronic workflows. This will allow SCAS to digitise some of its business processes, including the Joiner, Mover and Leaver (JML) processes, along with incident reporting for property and personal injury. Requests will be completed online, making the task faster, smoother and more secure, while providing a better user experience for staff.

As the overall capabilities of the platform and the benefits it offers become more widely-understood post implementation, further automation could be carried out across the organisation.

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of emergency, urgent care and non-emergency healthcare services, along with commercial logistics services. The Trust delivers most of these services to the populations of the South Central region – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – as well as non-emergency patient transport services in Surrey and Sussex, and a dental service (accessed via NHS 111) in parts of Dorset. With the expansion into Surrey and Sussex, it now serves a population of over seven million people across the six counties.

Mark Northcott, Head of Information Security and Governance at SCAS says: “The cessation of fax machine use within the NHS is a practical move, but implementing the policy is a major pain point for our ambulance service with many systems using paper forms for reporting. Working with Turnkey to digitise this system, while also automating some of the critical key worker processes that are currently manual and paper-based, is a big step up for us; it paves the way for increasing technical efficiencies across the organisation and frees up resources to focus on providing front line services at a time when we have been at our greatest pressure.”

Chris Boyle, the practice director for Identity and Access Management (IAM) at Turnkey Consulting, says: “As well as delivering on the explicit goals for SCAS, we wanted to demonstrate the ‘art of the possible’ for the platform. This will articulate how and where further automation will be able to help enhance the ambulance service’s day-to-day operations and how this translates into improvements and efficiency savings for its staff and patients.”

SCAS will receive these services on a pro bono basis in recognition of the critical COVID-19 work being carried out by the ambulance service.