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National Health Service recommends adoption of PEPPOL for eProcurement

by Carmen Ciciriello created on May 12, 2014 10:10 AM
On May 7th 2014, the UK Department of Health announced the NHS eProcurement strategy, establishing actions to improve NHS data and information, requiring the use of PEPPOL specifications throughout the healthcare sector for eOrdering, eInvoicing and advanced shipping notes.

One of the four publicly funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom, the NHS in England provides healthcare to every legal resident in England, with most services free at the point of use. For 2014/15, the NHS England revenue budget is set at around £110 billion.

The NHS eProcurement strategy is part of the Procurement Efficiency Programme. This programme sets out the actions to help the NHS save £1.5 billion by the end of the financial year 2015-2016, while making procurement more transparent and fostering innovation. The NHS will invest in technology solutions to support eProcurement implementation, including the adoption of common global standards by NHS providers and their suppliers, and setting up a single NHS spend analysis and price benchmarking service.

“The NHS eProcurement strategy will establish the PEPPOL messaging standards and global GS1 coding throughout the healthcare sector and its supporting supply chains. Previous efforts to improve eProcurement in the NHS have been patchy due to a lack of central direction. We have now mandated the use of the PEPPOL and GS1 standards by amending the NHS Standard Contract to require compliance with this NHS eProcurement strategy.” – states Dr Dan Poulter MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health.

PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) is the culmination of a 4-year project co-funded by the European Commission and 18 government agencies. It delivers straight-through-processing,  through a set of standard-based specifications that enable business documents to be exchanged electronically through PEPPOL Access Points. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the PEPPOL specifications, the international non-profit association OpenPEPPOL AISBL was formed in September 2012, and now has over 100 member organisations across 18 European countries, Russia and the USA.

“PEPPOL is the natural choice to ensure interoperability in public procurement. This decision by the National Health Service, with its substantial buying power, is a significant milestone for OpenPEPPOL and our efforts to promote PEPPOL-based solutions. ” – states André Hoddevik, OpenPEPPOL Secretary General.

In April 2014, the EU Directive on electronic invoicing in public procurement  was approved by the European Council. It includes a requirement for contracting authorities, such as the NHS, to offer their suppliers the ability to submit electronic invoices, using a common standard to support interoperability across the EU. The NHS eProcurement strategy recommends the use of PEPPOL as the messaging standard to be adopted by the NHS and its suppliers.

Findings from the report “Electronic Invoicing - The next steps towards digital government”*  estimate that electronic invoicing could save the UK public sector and its suppliers a minimum of £2 billion per annum by streamlining government administrative processes, driving significant process change throughout the public sector.

Download the NHS eProcurement strategy

For more information about OpenPEPPOL please contact us at:


*Click here to download the report

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