Important changes for all suppliers trading with NHS England (NHS Digital) and Health Education England – what you need to know

Classification: Official

To: Financial Controllers

Dear colleague,

I am writing to make you aware that with effect from 1 April 2023 the following organisations will be merging with NHS England.

Merging organisations:

  • NHS England (NHS Digital) (T56)
  • Health Education England (T73)

New Organisation name:

  • NHS England (X24)

The financial services hosted by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) will remain in place for the new organisation. As you are a supplier to one or multiple of the existing organisations, you will need to take on board a number of important changes in the way in which your invoices will be authorised and processed for payment. This involves a change of invoicing address and other essential requirements needed to help us  process your invoice promptly. Please note that your terms and conditions with the merging organisations remain unchanged.

Payables – what does this mean for you?

NHS SBS aims to make this transfer as smooth as possible, both for you as a supplier and for NHS England. NHS SBS have a quick, free and easy way to submit your invoices and credit notes electronically using Tradeshift. Paperless invoicing via Tradeshift is NHS England’s and NHS SBS’s only preferred method of billing as it delivers a number of significant benefits to you as a supplier, including quicker receipt of pre-validated invoices and thus ability to pay quicker, whilst supporting our net zero carbon emission ambitions. In the next few months, we will be requesting all our NHS England, clinical support unit and integrated care board suppliers to transition to paperless invoices and from 1 April 2024 all paper invoices will be rejected as a method of billing from that date.

If you are a supplier already using Tradeshift to invoice NHS England (NHS Digital) (T56) or Health Education England (T73), you will receive a connection confirmation from NHS England (X24) after 1 April 2023. To enable you to send invoices to NHS England you must accept the connection confirmation as this will establish the new connection (unless your Tradeshift account is set up to auto accept connection confirmations). If you already have an established connection with NHS England no additional connection is required. However, you will need to send invoices addressed to NHS England electronically to the NHS England connection. Connections to NHS England (NHS Digital) and Health Education England will be disconnected from close of play on 24 March 2023.

If you are not currently using Tradeshift, we recommend you move to adopting electronic invoicing. For full details on how to implement sending invoices via Tradeshift please see the appendix to this letter.

In the limited circumstances where electronic invoicing is not possible, please email invoices and credit notes to the following email address from 1 April 2023 with the billing address on the invoice being:

NHS England
X24 Payables K005
PO Box 312
LS11 1HP

If you fail to use this new billing address and continue to use any legacy organisation references in the payables address, your invoice will be rejected six months from go-live and will need to be re-issued in order to be paid.

Purchasing – what does this mean for you?

All existing contracts originally entered into by NHS England (NHS Digital) (T56) or Health Education England (T73) have been assigned to NHS England through legislation. All contracts will, unless advised otherwise, continue in their existing form with no changes to the scope or nature of the goods or services provided. No action will be required by you in respect of the existing contracts. The No-Purchase Order No-Pay policy will continue to be enforced by the merging organisations.

If you are a supplier with an open purchase order during the go-live period, you will be provided with a replacement purchase order number to cover the outstanding value on the orders. All new purchase orders from the 1 April 2023 will be issued by NHS England and will begin with the purchase order range 600.

From the 1 April 2023, legacy purchase order numbers quoted on invoices that are submitted for payment will not be accepted by NHS SBS. Please ensure that you quote the correct purchase order number on any new invoices.

Need more help?

If you have any questions about the merging organisations or questions on the new supplier arrangements for processing and payment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us using the contact details below:

  • Local regional contact for any supplier queries
  • Review the essential requirements in the appendix for good invoicing

Would you please pass this letter to the appropriate people in your organisation and ask them to use the new address and contact details with effect from 1 April 2023.

We look forward to working with you under the new supplier arrangements for NHS England.

Yours faithfully
Vicky Gaulter, Director of Financial Control, NHS England.


Electronic Invoicing

In partnership with Tradeshift, NHS SBS has developed an electronic invoicing solution which provides many benefits for suppliers including:

  • No cost, send invoices and credit notes for free.
  • Receive status updates on invoice progress providing visibility of your invoice the minute you send.
  • Reduce likelihood of lost invoices.
  • Reduce likelihood of rejected or returned invoices due to missing data.
  • Promote a positive green agenda.
  • Save money by eliminating cost due to postage, envelopes, printing and paper if you currently use hard-copy invoices

Tradeshift is a cloud-based business-to-business platform who have worked closely with us to meet our requirements as a shared business service to allow you to submit invoices quickly and easily. NHS SBS would like to invite you to start sending invoices electronically to NHS SBS clients via Tradeshift so that you can experience the many benefits for yourself.

To register for Tradeshift please visit NHS SBS’s Tradeshift Network and view the section called ‘getting started with Tradeshift’.

Once registered you can easily find and select all the NHS SBS clients you have previously invoiced by paper and request a connection to enable you to send invoices and credit notes electronically.

Tradeshift and NHS SBS look forward to hearing from you.

Essential requirements

To ensure that invoices are processed without delay it is essential that the organisation is provided with the following information:

  • NHS purchase order number – requests for goods and services should be accompanied by a purchase order If you have received a purchase order number you must ensure you quote it on your invoice in the purchase order field on the invoice.
  • If you do not have a purchase order number, please provide us with:

The organisation contact name and department; this is the person who requested and received the goods or services. If requested by the organisation, this should be in the following format: XXJBLOGGS (where the contact name is J Bloggs). This name should be placed in the purchase order number field on the invoice so that our scanning software will pick it up.

This information is vital for invoice authorisation; without it payment will be delayed.

Would you please pass this letter to the appropriate people in your organisation and ask them to use the new address and contact details with effect from 1 April 2023.