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NISG Adapts to New NHS Landscape

National Information Systems Group (NISG) is evolving its business to respond to the changing environment and to deliver maximum value to its NHS customers.

Previously, NISG was predominantly an IT product supplier for the NHS.  Now, with Boards procuring more products directly from the private sector, NISG is changing the way it works.  Increasingly, its staff are offering NHSScotland an expert IT advice and problem-solving service.  They now assist Boards in everything from IT planning to procurement, from testing to ongoing management and maintenance.  This ensures the NHS gets the right systems for the job, saving the NHS time and money.

Andy Robertson, Director of NISG, explained: “Traditionally, in line with the way the NHS worked, a large part of our business was creating software packages and systems to help join up the NHS. The system to help run GP practices, GPASS, was a good example of this.

“However, as with many other parts of the NHS, the landscape has changed and we have to adapt to that.  Our customer base is changing and there is a much greater focus on long-term savings.  That’s why, over the past 18 months, our ongoing transformation programme has looked at every part of our business – customers and services, our processes, workforce planning and our culture and values,” he added.

“We are well placed to add value because we have an unrivalled understanding of the NHS, of IT solutions, and of the procurement process.  That gives us a great opportunity to play to our strengths by becoming the expert adviser for Boards as they plan and procure their systems more directly from the private sector.

“NISG is going to be less about developing and delivering products, and more about providing services.

“This has been a challenging process, and we still have a lot of work to do.  Change can often be difficult, but by doing this we can continue to support Scotland’s health in a sustainable way.”

”As part of its new approach, NISG is involved in every stage of a product lifecycle:

  • Architecture and consulting: defining requirements, identifying opportunities to reuse existing solutions and producing business cases, e.g. advising how existing IT infrastructure could be reused to support the H1N1 programme.
  • Procurement, contract and vendor management: getting the best deals on technology, e.g. supporting procurement for new GP IT systems.
  • Project management: ensuring products are delivered on time, within budget and to the agreed quality, e.g. managing the electronic Palliative Care Summary project.
  • Solutions and applications: providing technical IT development and product support services, professional training solutions and an expert customer service desk, e.g. development and support of new managed clinical network system for use by specialists across the country.
  • Accreditation and testing: making sure new systems fit with national architecture, e.g. testing new GP IT system releases.
  • Solution stewardship: managing and supporting installed base products, and handling any problems, e.g. managing child health systems deployed across NHSS Boards.

Extract from article in NHS National Services Scotland, Pulse magazine, June 2011.