NHS Business Services Authority

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NHS Business Services Authority
NHS Business Services Authority logo.png
Formation1 October 2005
TypeNHS special health authority
HeadquartersStella House, Newcastle upon Tyne
Region served
England and Wales
Key people
Silla Maizey (Chair)
Main organ
Board of directors
Parent organisation
National Health Service

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health which provides some support services to the National Health Service in England and Wales. It was created on 1 October 2005 following a review by the Department of Health of its "arm's length bodies". It began operating on 1 April 2006, bringing together five previously separate NHS business support organisations.[1] It provides a range of services to NHS organisations, NHS contractors and patients which include:


The NHSBSA took over responsibility for checking prescriptions that had been dispensed free of charge to patients who claimed to be exempt from paying prescription charges in September 2014. To claim free prescriptions on medical grounds, patients are required to hold a valid medical exemption certificate, even if they have a life-long medical condition.[2]

Between September and December 2014, 18,074 penalty charge notices were issued to patients who had declared they were exempt from paying the prescription charge by ticking the back of the prescription to say they held a valid medical exemption certificate, when in fact they did not hold one. A campaign against the penalty charge notices was led by Diabetes UK, which argued that the need for the exemption certificates had not been properly communicated to people with diabetes. It said many people had claimed free prescriptions without any problems since they were first diagnosed without having a certificate, until the NHSBSA's new, more efficient checking systems uncovered the problem. Following the campaign the health minister, Dr Dan Poulter, asked the NHSBSA to cancel or refund the charges until patients could obtain a medical exemption certificate.[3]

The NHS Pension Scheme is a defined benefit public service pension scheme. On 1 April 2008, the scheme divided into two sections - the 1995 section and the 2008 section - when a new benefit structure was introduced for new entrants. These two sections of the scheme operate on a pay-as-you-go basis. On 1 April 2015, the amended regulations introduced new provisions as a consequence of the scheme's reform. This 2015 Scheme operates on a career average basis.[4]

NHS Help with Health Costs provides free or reduced cost prescriptions through NHS Low Income Scheme, medical exemption certificates, maternity exemption certificates, NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificates and prescription prepayment certificates.[5]

Student Services administers the NHS Bursary and Social Work Bursary schemes on behalf of the Department of Health. NHS Bursaries process applications for annual payments from the NHS to help students studying medicine, dentistry, nursing or healthcare courses in England.[6] The Council of Deans of Health and Universities UK issued a joint statement on 30 June 2015 asking for an 'urgent' overhaul of student funding.[7] Social Work Bursaries process applications for triannual payments to help students studying social work.[8]

NHS Dental Services administers payments to dentists.[9]

Supplier Management provides contract management services to the Department of Health and Public Health England. Supplier Management currently manages contracts for NHS Supply Chain, Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Programme (PIPP),[10] Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response (EPRR),[11] Essential Medicines Buffer Stocks (EMBS),[12] Immform,[13] UK Childhood Immunisation Programme.[14]

NHS Prescription Services[edit]

NHS Prescription Services is the largest organisational component of the NHS Business Services Authority. Its primary function is to determine the reimbursement and remuneration due when prescriptions are dispensed outside hospitals anywhere in England. Detailed information, collected when prescriptions are processed for payment, is then made available to organisations within the NHS, to support management, planning and governance activities. NHS Prescription Services has previously been known as the Prescription Pricing Authority, and as the Prescription Pricing Division.


  1. ^ NHS Business Services Authority - About the NHSBSA
  2. ^ http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/PrescriptionServices/Documents/PPD%20Drug%20Tariff/December_2015.pdf
  3. ^ "Diabetes prescription fines averted". Boots Web MD. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. ^ GOV.UK - NHS Pensions
  5. ^ NHS England - Get help with health costs
  6. ^ GOV.UK NHS Bursaries
  7. ^ "Academics call for 'urgent' overhaul of student nurse funding". Nursing Times. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  8. ^ GOV.UK Social Work Bursaries
  9. ^ GOV.UK NHS Business Services Authority
  10. ^ GOV.UK Pandemic Pandemic influenza preparedness programme: Statistical Legacy Group - a report for the Chief Medical Officer
  11. ^ NHS England Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR)
  12. ^ "DoH stockpile to guarantee essential medicine supply". GP Online. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  13. ^ GOV.UK ImmForm
  14. ^ GOV.UK Immunisation

External links[edit]