In April 2012, the NHS Commissioning Board Authority signed a contract with NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) to provide an Integrated Single Financial Environment (ISFE) for the NHS Commissioning Board (now NHS England), clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and commissioning support units (CSUs). The service went live within NHS England on 1 October 2012 and is being rolled out to CCGs and CSUs from 1 April 2013.
The use of an ISFE has been agreed to ensure proper financial and corporate governance, financial consistency and proper risk management relating to the transfer of financial information. It will also allow for the adoption of best practice in business processes. The ISFE will create a basic cost-effective common infrastructure which will save time for organisations in terms of development.
The NHS SBS service is already the most widely used finance and accounting system in the NHS by both commissioners and providers. NHS England will meet the standard contract costs in full and does not intend to recharge CCGs. It is one of the requirements of the authorisation process that CCGs use the ISFE service.