How Synergy4 simplified the merging of two Trusts into Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
CACI equipped Black Country Healthcare Trust with Synergy4
Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is a provider of mental health, learning disability and community support services. Following the merging of the Trust with Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust in 2020, Black Country Healthcare Trust was tasked with combining two vastly different costing systems and strategies into a singular costing service and line reporting system. This proved to be no easy task, as Dudley and Walsall’s costing system was Synergy3, while Black Country Healthcare Trust had their own bespoke internal system. The differences between the Trusts’ costing of their services further amplified these difficulties. However, a pre-existing contract with CACI proved to be the key to streamlining this uniquely complex circumstance.
- Merging two Trusts into one. This major change came with extensively different processes that had to be identified and differentiated. Unifying two teams also proved to be extraordinarily difficult for the Trust while keeping up with the demands of day-to-day tasks.
- Learning a new system. The different systems that the Trusts were on and the necessity to quickly move to a new, singular system was a colossal change for the team, with its difficulties augmented by the substantial changes made to costing methodologies.
- Adjusting cost centres within the Trust’s childhood account. This included adjusting the lengths, descriptions and meanings of the cost centres to ensure information remained correctly organised and that no information relating to either Trust was removed.
- Maintaining cohesion while importing. When running imports through the Trust’s activity or costing data, ensuring all elements were executed sequentially proved to be difficult.
- Meeting reporting and national costing deadlines.
CACI equipped Black Country Healthcare Trust with Synergy4, a comprehensive patient level information and costing system specifically designed for the NHS. This system made the environment available for the Trust to work with two separate methodologies throughout the transitional merging period and securely organise pre-existing child accounts and allocation methods. Through Synergy4, the Black Country Healthcare Trust could deliver accurate patient-level costing and accurately report on findings. CACI was also tremendously understanding of the Trust’s unique merging circumstances, which simplified the complex transition of unifying two systems into one.
According to Mandip Bal, Lead Costing, Reporting and Finance Systems Accountant at Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, “The support and understanding offered by CACI was substantial, which enabled us to transition onto that new system.”
CACI supplied unwavering training and support to the Trust throughout the entire project and merger, ensuring that the Trust was well versed in Synergy4’s functions. This support was crucial for the effective translation of knowledge with consultants, which began with a paper written by CACI outlining how the costing journey would progress throughout the merger.
“Upon reading [this paper], I was in immediate agreement from our Trust,” Mandip explained. “We were able to confidently advise on the seperation and visualise how the model would merge into one following the merging of the Trusts.”
Operating two unique systems was highly complex, and the impact that CACI’s support had on the transition period and successful merging of the two Trusts did not go unnoticed by the wider business.
“Working with [CACI] is always very pleasant… The support available along with the helpdesk, especially at the project implementation stage, was helpful,” Mandip explained. “After we went live, the support desk was particularly helpful for the business. Whenever I’ve asked questions or enquired about different developments, CACI has always offered solutions or more information. I can deal with everything now through CACI, so quite a few efficiencies in terms of administrative tasks were achieved as well.”
The Trust now confidently runs a single system and has consistently met reporting and national costing deadlines as a result. Following updates made to the National Cost Collection guidance, CACI also ensured the Trust’s system was up to date to further assist with minute details amidst the transitional merging period.
Black Country Healthcare Trust is keen to explore new developments to Synergy4 as they become available and continue to receive CACI’s support to further enhance their system in the coming years.