NHS SBS: Update on the impact of COVID-19 on our business

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Further to our communication on 11 March, I wanted to summarise the current situation regarding the effect of COVID-19 on NHS Shared Business Services and what we are doing to mitigate the impact on our business and our service to the NHS.

Our key focus is to support our clients and the wider NHS in ensuring that staff are paid, orders are processed, suppliers are paid and cash moves around the NHS.

  1.  Actions being taken

NHS SBS has Business Impact Assessments and Business Continuity Plans for all operational areas to mitigate the impact on our business and service to you. These plans are now being implemented through our incident management process and include:

  • Contingency planning for the reallocation of resources and work to other sites should the need arise (NHS SBS operates across seven UK sites and two sites in India)
  • Enabling more of our employees to work from home where possible and feasible
  • Additional resilience measures for business-critical services, including payroll, transaction processing and procurement
  • Additional training is also being carried out where it is required to upskill members of our delivery teams
  • a live skills matrix so that staff resource can be diverted quickly and appropriately to minimise the impact on service continuity and flexibility

More broadly, the following actions are being taken to manage the impact of the pandemic on NHS SBS and our clients:

  • An Incident Management Team meets daily to monitor the situation and coordinate guidance aligned to government guidelines to all employees
  • All meetings are being encouraged to be carried out digitally
  • Our employees are working from home where possible and feasible

Increased office cleaning with a focus on high contact area

2.  Pune Office in India

Our Pune Office in India, which delivers transactional processing support to our Finance & Accounting and Employment Services clients, has been temporarily closed from today at the request of the Indian government in response to increased cases of COVID-19 in the area.

The impact of this reduced capacity is that some of our services may not operate as quickly as usual. We have been working through our Business Continuity plan to enable a number of these staff to work from home in a secure environment.

3. Employee Service Desk – reduced hours
We have taken the decision to reduce the opening hours of our Employee Service Desk from 8am-6pm (Monday to Friday) to 8am-5pm (Monday to Friday), to free up extra capacity within the team.  These changes will come into effect on Monday 23 March until further notice.

4. Next steps
We will continue to monitor the situation daily and respond to the government’s guidance. Like most organisations, we are facing a unique set of challenges as a result of these unprecedented circumstances.

We appreciate you may have questions, and will be circulating FAQs regarding the impact on our finance & accounting, procurement and employment services lines of business shortly.  We will also be updating our website with this information.


Finally – to date our business continuity plan has minimised disruption. However, it is possible that at some point in the near future we may need to consult with you about the services to prioritise should our capacity to operate as normal be significantly impacted. What remains resolute at NHS SBS is the pride and commitment all our employees have in supporting the fantastic work of the NHS.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

Kind regards,


David Morris
Managing Director

NHS Shared Business Services


Audience: All SBS Clients

Date: 19 March 2020