• Salisbury Foundation Trust new provider of payroll and pensions services for University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust
  • Service was carried out for 12 years by NHS Shared Business Services
  • University Hospital Southampton FT in process of resolving “residual ongoing issues” with NHS Shared Business Services

A major acute teaching trust has outsourced its payroll and pension services to a neighbouring provider after becoming “dissatisfied” with its former national provider.

Payroll and pension services for the 9,000 staff at University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust are now carried out by Salisbury Foundation Trust.

University Hospital Southampton FT’s services were previously run by NHS Shared Business Services for 12 years, but in its board papers the trust said it had grown “continually dissatisfied” with the service provided.

A report said the trust wished to look for a “more cost-effective option that would also raise quality”, ahead of the contract with Shared Business Services ending on March 31.

The trust put the service out to tender, with Salisbury FT winning a one-year contract which started on 1 April. 

Shared Business Services’ contract with University Hospital Southampton FT had been renewed twice during the 12 years it has provided the service.

A spokesman for University Hospital Southampton FT said the trust intends to re-tender in the autumn with a view to agreeing a longer term contract.

“Recognising the critical importance of the payroll function to our staff, we are very pleased with how smoothly the transition to Salisbury has been made,” the spokesman said.

The trust refused to comment on the value on the contracts with Shared Business Services and Salisbury FT, claiming “commercial confidentiality”.

It also would not comment when HSJ asked how much it hoped to save by outsourcing the service to Salisbury FT, which also provides payroll services for other trusts.

In a statement to HSJ NHS Shared Business Services, which provides services to more than 80 trusts, said its service to University Hospital Southampton was exceeding all the contract’s key performance indicators prior to notice being given that the contract would not be extended.

A spokesman for NHS Shared Business Services said: “University Hospital Southampton FT has been a valued payroll customer since 2005, so we were naturally very disappointment about the decision to transfer this service to another provider.”

University Hospital Southampton FT’s board papers also revealed that there are “residual ongoing issues with Shared Business Services, which are being resolved through senior members of finance and HR”.

However neither the trust nor Shared Business Services would say what these issues related to.

The trust’s spokesman confirmed that Shared Business Services also provides “outsourced finance and accounting services” on behalf of the trust.