Find out how we helped Barts NHS Trust put lost spend back towards patient care.

The requirement

Barts Health NHS Trust sought an accounts payable review to identify and recover overpayments that had escaped its own robust internal systems and processes. 

The Trust processes a high volume of supplier invoices and conducts self-checks, regularly undertaking reviews with the National Fraud Initiative (NFI).

However, the Trust understood that overpayments are not always recognised or voluntarily declared by suppliers and that precious funds can be lost permanently if left unclaimed or if the supplier goes into liquidation. 

An accounts payable review is a risk-free mechanism to identify and recover any overpayments that have been missed through conducting an in-depth and thorough analysis of accounts payable transactions and payments.

As this is a time-consuming and resource intensive process to conduct in-house, Barts sought specialist support. 

The solution

Barts Health NHS Trust used the CCS Spend Analysis & Recovery Services solution to award their contract to Rockford Associates Limited.

Rockford first extracted 3 years of transaction data from the Trust’s accounts payable system. The process was easy and straightforward and no scripting or software development was required. The data was quickly uploaded to the supplier’s secure share file site and they then used their own data mining software to conduct the initial analysis.

A Senior Recovery Auditor was sent to the trust to deliver a full end-to-end review. With access to mail, systems and scanning, the auditor identified, verified and recovered a number of overpayments. 

The review consisted of a statement review together with a detailed analysis of Rockford’s bespoke software-generated reports. The service was delivered both on-site and remotely with minimum disruption to the Trust’s accounts payable and finance teams.

The Trust had previously used the services of Rockford in 2013 and it was further reassured that it could again easily engage Rockford’s specialist NHS AP Recovery Services through our Spend Analysis and Recovery Services solution.

The results

The Trust’s approach to financial transparency yielded positive results:

  • The supplier analysed over 645,000 past transactions from the Trust’s Oracle Finance System. 
  • The review identified, verified and recovered 82 exceptions, delivering a 6 figure sum which translated into more investment in patient care and services.
  • The Trust welcomed Rockford’s independent validation and positive reassurance that 99.99% of transactions were processed correctly by invoice value and 99.98% by invoice volume.
  • A detailed Findings and Recommendations report was produced to help prevent future overpayments
  • Rockford further identified 11,847 inactive suppliers, assisting the Trust to maintain an accurate supplier database 

Jasmine Lee, Associate Director Financial Services, Barts NHS Trust, said:

Barts NHS Trust is committed to ensure high standards of corporate governance and personal behaviour are maintained in the conduct of the business of the Trust. A main selling point of the service was that Rockford did the legwork in getting the cash physically back for us. That was a valuable resource to us. The engagement provided an independent reassurance and positive validation that our systems and processes are working well. The review was delivered promptly and efficiently with minimum disruption to day-to-day business productivity. We will happily recommend Rockford’s Accounts Payable review to any NHS Trust or other body considering a review.

Ray Dorney, Director, Rockford Associates Limited, said: 

The outcome with Barts NHS Trust is rewarding for both parties. Our relationship has spanned a decade or more and has always proved mutually beneficial. The Trust’s professional approach to financial transparency and the behaviours supporting that process has resulted in significant cash recoveries via Rockford’s specialist NHS accounts payable recovery review.

Get involved

Our Spend Analysis and Recovery Services solution, available under lots 15-19 of our Debt Resolution Services agreement, offers the public sector a chance to recover money and put it to use.

Find out how we can help you: