my.lpp portal drives collaboration and best practice

NHS trusts are taking advantage of an LPP-developed web portal to improve information flows between members, compare their expenditure with peer organisations, and promote best practice procurement to get value for patients.

my.lpp  portal drives collaboration and best practice

NHS Trusts are taking advantage of an LPP-developed web portal to improve information flows between members, compare their expenditure with peer organisations, and promote best practice procurement to get value for patients.

The bespoke 'my.lpp' web portal has been developed by NHS London Procurement Partnership to meet the information needs of its member trusts.  LPP was established to drive savings and efficiencies from NHS procurement budgets – and my.lpp provides value added services which enable trusts to benchmark their progress.

Developed in-house by LPP's Data and e-Enablement team, my.lpp is a suite of web-based productivity tools including online reporting, a community 'expert knowledge' portal and collaborative workspaces. David Walach, workstream lead and initiator of the my.lpp project, explains that the overriding benefit to members has been the provision of a low cost operational tool which encourages standardisation of business processes, adoption of best practice, and improved, transparent reporting to members on their spend.

“As a member-led and funded organisation, LPP reports regularly to member Trusts on their expenditure against the contracts we have negotiated with suppliers, the savings they are making, and how that compares with our membership as a whole. Getting that information for the NHS organisations which use the many different contracts and project services we provide is a time-consuming but vital task.   As we continue to automate more and more of the information 'feed' from suppliers into my.lpp, that process of reporting back to members becomes easier, faster and more accurate.”

Framework suppliers upload their monthly information, which is processed automatically, removing the need for human intervention and increasing productivity. This data flows to an online interactive reporting suite, where spend trends and uptake can be reviewed by stakeholders and suppliers.

As an example, the collection, analysis and reporting of data for just one initiative used to require eight days' internal resource at a cost of £2,500. Through automation, this information is now available on demand, in one place, and with the facility to drill down to the detail.

David comments, “As it develops, my.lpp is ensuring we give timely, accurate and relevant information to decision makers.”

The decision to develop a bespoke solution was taken simply because there was nothing available off the shelf which directly met members' needs. my.lpp is the result of consultation with members, suppliers and partners, and reflects the tightening of budgets in parallel with the need to make savings and improve efficiencies. A group of member representatives have responsibility for my.lpp, shaping its future development to ensure it remains a tool which meets their requirements.

It is a long term project, but with significant short-term goals, many of which have already been realised.  As an example, a secure workspace function is proving particularly valuable to members. In it, files can be shared between discreet groups, and it includes discussion fora. In research, one member said “The workspaces have been an extremely convenient method of sharing data files and communicating on specific topics with staff from other organisations. It has also been vital to my geographically disparate teams to have a central area to connect, brainstorm and manage projects in real time.”

An added benefit for another member is the Document Library. “We often share specifications and documents with colleagues at other Trusts. To have them all on a shared system is great.”

There are commercial products supplying these services, but at licensing costs which are prohibitive to many organisations, particularly in today's economic climate. my.lpp gives LPP members all the benefits of similar commercial products in one place, within their membership fee.

Plans are in place to improve the user experience and further integrate the tool with LPP's website. Work is underway to expand the automation of data collection and processing, linking to external data sources and providing enriched reporting and dashboards to stakeholders and suppliers.  

In tough economic times my.lpp is a very necessary tool, driving efficiencies for our members, and enabling them to get the best value for patients.

12-02-14    LPP

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