About the NHSBSA

Our purpose is: We are a business services organisation. We use insight to deliver improvements that matter.


The NHS Business Services Authority is a Special Health Authority and an Arm's Length Body of the Department of Health which provides a range of critical central services to NHS organisations, NHS contractors, patients and the public.

Our service portfolio includes:

  • Management of the NHS Pension Scheme in England and Wales which has over 2.6 million members and receives contributions of over £9 billion per annum.
  • Administration of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme (in the UK) processing over 6.6 million EHIC cards this year. 23.5million people in the UK have an active EHIC card.
  • Management of a 10-year outsourced Master Services Agreement (MSA) for the delivery of supply chain services to the NHS, supporting the planned delivery of around £1 billion of savings to the NHS over the life of the Agreement.
  • Provision of strategic procurement and contract management expertise on Department of Health (DH) supply chain strategic contracts and programmes across the health sector.
  • Payments to pharmacists (in England) for prescriptions dispensed in primary care settings which involves processing approximately 1 billion prescription items and payments totalling over £9 billion each year.
  • Payments to dentists for work undertaken on NHS contracts which involves processing approximately 44 million dental forms and payments totalling over £2.5 billion in England and Wales.
  • Provision of management information to over 25,000 registered NHS and DH users on costs and trends in prescribing and dental care in England and Wales.
  • Provision of the NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (in partnership with NHS Connecting for Health) for use throughout the NHS (in both primary and secondary care) as a means of uniquely identifying the specific medicines or devices used in the diagnosis or treatment of patients.
  • Compilation, publication and distribution of the NHS Drug Tariff for England and Wales. Approving the list of medical devices and chemical reagents that appear in the Drug Tariff and determining the price of those products.
  • Administration of a range of health related services across the UK, including a Low Income Scheme, Medical and Maternity Exemption Schemes, Tax Credit NHS Exemption Cards (in the UK) and Prescription Pre-payment Certificates (in England). In total we process over 5 million claims per annum.
  • Management of the NHS Student Bursaries (in England) making payments of over £500 million relating to over 82,000 students.
  • Management of the Social Work Bursaries Scheme (in England) making payments of over £82 million to nearly 14,000 students.
  • Management of the NHS Injury Benefit Scheme (in England and Wales) processing over 30,000 applications since the inception of the Scheme.
  • Provision of a range of hosted employment, human resources and financial services for various DH teams and programmes.
  • Provision of NHS Protect services (in England and Wales).

Since it became operational in 2006, the NHSBSA has implemented significant improvements across all business processes, introduced a new management model of shared services and dedicated business streams, developed a robust scorecard, measured and used customer feedback and benchmarked services.  Whilst care must always be taken when analysing the financial benefits of business transformation, the NHSBSA calculates that it has delivered £69.7m savings between 2005-06 and 2011-12.  When these savings are considered alongside those calculated in previous years, the NHSBSA has delivered cumulative efficiencies of £232.8m which have been available to the Department of Health for reinvestment in front line services.

You can read more about us in our latest Annual Report and Accounts or in our Strategy and Business Plan.