SQL – Transforming Finance Processes

Innovation B2  

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

North West, Acute



“The idea of utilising SQL to automate manual repetitive processes has resulted in better value to the organisation through a quantifiable reduction to monthly processing time..”

Peer Reviewer

“Excel is a very generic solution, but as identified here, using SQL allows a more targeted analysis of data.”

Peer Reviewer

“Maximising the use of SQL to automate manual repetitive processes has saved this organisation approximately 60 hours of Excel time per month which can be reinvested in reviewing the outputs to facilitate a better financial understanding for the organisation.”

Peer Reviewer

The Problem

The PIE group needed to streamline, automate and standardise financial processes in order to move forward as a finance department and meet the increasing pace and demands of the wider organisation and NHS healthcare environment.

The Challenge

How might we redesign, rethink, and improve the way we work, so that we can spend more time sharing and discussing financial information with our services, rather than preparing it?

The Outputs

SQL automated processes for the following areas (each taking approximately 5 mins to prepare data and run):

management accounts:

  • bench pay processing
  • WLI and cross cover accruals
  • ACF pay review and recode
  • ad hoc pay adjustments
  • pay review work
  • pay split coding
  • sub analysis pay
  • sub analysis non-pay
  • consumables journal

income team:

  • contract monitoring reports
  • reporting drugs and devices.
  • technical team – NHS Supply Chain interface
  • standardised and centralised processes.

The Outcomes

  • 15 staff (approximately 25% of the department) within different teams across the finance department have developed a new automation skill.
  • 60 hours of manual processing time per month has been saved so far.
  • We have Improved accuracy, removing human error (Excel copy paste errors, formula drag down errors etc) by using SQL scripts.
  • Staff have more time available for value added work and development.
  • Junior members of the department have been provided with a development opportunity to lead on mini projects and present their work to the Finance Improvement Forum, chaired by the deputy director of finance.