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What we do

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is a Special Health Authority and an Arm's Length Body of the Department of Health (DH).

We provide a range of critical central services to NHS organisations, NHS contractors, patients and the public.

Our services include:

  • Processing approximately 1 billion prescription items for pharmacists who have dispensed prescriptions in England.
  • Managing the NHS Pension Scheme in England for over 2.6 million users
  • Administering the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme in the UK  - we’ve processed over 6.6 million cards this year.
  • Managing payments to dentists for NHS work in England and Wales – we process 44 million dental forms for payments totalling over £2.5 billion.
  • Compiling, publishing and distributing the NHS Drug Tariff for England and Wales.
  • Managing NHS Student Bursaries in England, making payments of over £500 million to over 80,000 students.
  • Managing the Social Work Bursaries Scheme in England, making payments of over £82 million to nearly 14,000 students.
  • Administering the low income scheme, maternity and medical exemption schemes, tax credit exemption cards and prescription prepayment certificates in England – we process over 5 million claims for these schemes every year.
  • Providing the NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (in partnership with NHS Digital) for use throughout the NHS.
  • Providing management information to over 25,000 registered NHS and DH users on costs and trends in prescribing and dental care in England and Wales.
  • Managing the NHS Injury Benefit Scheme in England and Wales, processing over 30,000 applications since the scheme started.
  • Providing a range of hosted employment, human resources and financial services for various DH teams and programmes.
  • Providing NHS Protect services in England and Wales.
  • Providing strategic procurement and contract management expertise on DH supply chain strategic contracts and programmes across the health sector.
  • Managing a 10-year outsourced Master Services Agreement 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.

Our history

We became operational on 1 April 2006 when five NHS organisations were brought together:

  • Prescription Pricing Authority
  • NHS Pensions Agency
  • Dental Practice Board
  • NHS Logistics Authority
  • NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service

The improvements we've made

Since 1 April 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.

Savings to the NHS

Whilst care must always be taken when analysing the financial benefits of business transformation, the NHSBSA calculates that it has delivered £69.7 million 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 £232.8 million 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, Strategy and Business Plan.