E-procurement with NHS in UK via Peppol

NHS Mandate for e-Procurement Strategy

| | Product Manager software applications/services electronic business data exchange, SEEBURGER
NHS Mandate for e-Procurement Strategy

Right now the UK’s NHS (National Health Service) has more immediate concerns than eProcurement mandates. The work that their staff (and many retired staff) are undertaking to help combat the Corona pandemic is nothing short of amazing. SEEBURGER would like to place on record our recognition for all of the medical and support staff across the world who are risking their lives for us right now.  To those we thank you sincerely.

For when the time comes and day-to-day life returns to ‘normal’, SEEBURGER are here to offer our experience in helping entities such as the NHS and others realise efficiency gains by embracing eProcurement standards such as GS1 and Peppol.


Figure 1 – NHS eProcurement Strategy using G1 and Peppol

NHS Mandate for the use of the GS1 and Peppol standards

In detail NHS providers and their suppliers must adopt these key standards for electronic procurement including electronic invoicing:

eProcurement Mandate for All Suppliers of Public Bodies of the NHS

By the 1st of February 2020, public healthcare entities were required to send all purchase orders in electronic XML format based on Peppol BIS version 3 to any of their domestic and foreign suppliers via the NHS platform for electronic procurement. In scope of the eProcurement mandate are electronic purchase orders from entities associated with the NHS. In particular, the NHS is dealing with e-orders, e-advice notes and e-invoices.

Compliance with NHS eProcurement Mandate

All NHS providers already utilise eProcurement solutions to some extent, but none have fully implemented eProcurement to underpin ALL of their procurement activities. NHS providers should consider extending the use of their eProcurement systems to encompass all non-pay expenditure across the organisation, much of which will be outside the procurement department. Where an NHS provider has gaps in their eProcurement infrastructure, they should consider implementing additional solutions, or utilise eProcurement solutions provided by an intermediary organisation.

SEEBURGER’s vast experience and investment in Peppol can help address the aforementioned gaps in capability with a convenient cloud based solution.

Use Peppol over the SEEBURGER Certified Peppol Access Point

SEEBURGER is a certified Peppol Access Point. With SEEBURGER’s cloud based Peppol solution, suppliers can easily receive EU compliant e-orders from NHS contracting authorities in the UK via the Peppol network, and can send electronic advice notes and e-invoices to them. Compliance with NHS eProcurement mandate is illustrated by way of an example using the Peppol standard in Figure 2.

NHS Mandate
Figure 2 – SEEBURGER’s cloud based Peppol solution for Compliance with NHS Mandate

NB: There is also the option to deploy the solution on premises; however, this only makes economic sense if larger amounts of orders are to be processed.

Peppol eProcurement process for NHS in the UK

The Peppol infrastructure is the first choice for many countries (including the NHS in the UK) to increase their openness to international trade. Peppol is currently in use in multiple European countries, with Peppol authorities present in 11 European countries already. Recently, the number of Peppol authorities has grown to 13 with the addition of the first non-European countries, Singapore and New Zealand.

Using the example solution from Figure 2, the SEEBURGER e-procurement solution complies with the European standard since the selected format type is based on Peppol orders. The Peppol eDelivery network requires the use of Peppol access points to exchange structured electronic order documents with the NHS platform.

Summary – Compliance with NHS eProcurement Mandate in the UK

A scalable and future-proof Peppol solution can only be provided by an experienced cloud partner who understands and can meet the various requirements in different countries. This includes those requirements of the NHS eProcurement Mandate in the UK.

Alternatively, you can choose to implement and operate all these mandates yourself, or work with separate local providers in each respective country. However, in the latter case each one of the local providers will have to be managed and monitored on an individual basis – a long-winded process that can detract from core business.

The solution must be able to handle Peppol inbound and outbound documents, as well as other formats and communication channels if necessary. In addition, the solution needs to be connected easily and reliably to your respective ERP system.

SEEBURGER offers a ‘Plug-and-Play’ Cloud Service for Peppol, through which you can exchange Peppol documents. Our services are independent of whatever ERP system is being used.

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Gerrit Onken

Written by:

Gerrit Onken has been at SEEBURGER AG since 2010 as a product manager for software applications and for electronic data exchange services for the business sector. He focuses on solutions for SAP, electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and innovations for digitalizing business and technical processes for globally-active customers. Originally a banker, Gerrit Onken went on to graduate in business administration, majoring in industrial management and business informatics. After working in the financial sector, he worked as a manager and project manager from 2004 to 2010 for one of the top five corporate consultancies, working with international BPOs in the banking and automotive industries.