Realising cost savings and efficiencies through co-production


Lee McAlea, Assistant Finance Manager

Steph Taylor, Assistant Project Accountant

Gareth Lloyd, Fleet Systems Manager


Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust


This Bevan Exemplar project brought together the Finance and Fleet Departments, to identify cost savings and efficiency improvements relating to the Trust’s Corpuls³ Defibrillators.


Background


In 2018, Finance and Fleet collaborated on the successful implementation of the new Chevin Fleetwave Fleet Management System. The team was awarded the Excellence in Finance & Performance Improvement Award at the HFMA & ACCA Wales Annual Conference for this work.


To capitalise on this success, the team wanted to utilise the capabilities of the system to address the high costs involved with servicing and replacing consumable parts for the Corpuls³ defibrillators on board all Trust Emergency Response vehicles.


Aims


The main aim of the project was to realise cost savings and efficiencies through co-production. The project aligns with the principles of prudent healthcare in the following ways:

  • Improve patient safety by ensuring each Corpuls³ defibrillator is serviced on time, and complies with the recommended service schedules.

  • Reduce service and consumable parts costs.

  • Improve efficiencies by incorporating the service schedules within the Chevin Fleetwave system, and implementing a new reporting dashboard and KPIs.

  • Identify future cost savings and efficiencies.

  • Comply with the All Wales No PO No Pay Policy.


Challenges


Stakeholder engagement has been a significant challenge as the project has involved making changes to a number of in-house practices which have been in place for several years.


It has been essential to listen to each other’s perspectives and learn from this, as collaboration will be pivotal to the ongoing success of the project.


Locating and tracking of the defibrillators has been a major challenge due to the nature of the Ambulance Service resulting in equipment being routinely transferred from one vehicle to another.


Outcomes


Successful submission to HMRC to review the VAT treatment on replacement consumable parts, resulting in the backdated recovery of £40,000, which will be a recurring saving for the Trust moving forward.


All Corpuls³ defibrillators for the Powys Health Board area are now recorded within the Chevin Fleetwave system along with their servicing schedules and KPIs, allowing us to ensure compliance with service requirements and improve patient safety by reducing the risk of a defibrillator failing during a life threatening call.


We have also identified future cost savings which will be carried forward, as these have not yet been realised due to time constraints and issues with stakeholder engagement.


Next steps


The computerised service schedules are currently being trialed within the Powys Health Board area; the next phase is to roll this out Trust-wide.


Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) is now being explored by the Trust which will resolve the issue of tracking the defibrillators.


We previously attended a Celtic Nations event, with representatives from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where we showcased our project. We will now update the members and assist them with recommending service improvements in this area.


To realise further cost savings identified through the project by renegotiating service cost fees with our stakeholders and purchasing consumable parts no longer restricted by patents.



"Working with the Bevan Commission has challenged us to think differently, and they have supported us to do so through every step of our journey."



Part of cohort Bevan Exemplar Projects 2018-19


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