NHS Property Services (NHSPS) purchases goods and supplies, works and services from a wide range of suppliers and service providers. We award contracts to those who meet our requirements and standards, with contracts ranging from small one-off purchases to long-term, multi-year million pound service contracts.

How we buy

Our procedures for offering work or buying products vary depending on the type of product, service or works we are purchasing, as well as its value.

Our procurement processes by type/area of purchase

Goods – We undertake smaller one off purchases for low value items using payment cards; however the bulk of our general supplies are purchased through pre-tendered corporate contracts set up in the form of framework agreements and catalogues.

Services – Our main contracts are exposed to competition in line with public procurement regulations and internal SFI thresholds.

Works – Our Capital programme is delivered using ConstructionLine for the selection of suitable providers. Any works outside of the capital programme are procured in line with NHS Property Services SFI’s and Public Contracts Regulations.

Our procurement processes by value of goods, service or works

We use the most appropriate procurement process for the provision in line with our Standing Financial Instructions (SFIs) and The Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

Our SFIs set out the following thresholds for all purchasing and procurement activity.

  • £5,001 to £100,000 – a minimum of three written quotes are required
  • £100,001 and above – tender process should be followed

OJEU threshold limits will be applied in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

No PO, No Pay Policy

From 1 November 2018, NHSPS will implement a No PO, No Pay policy and move all invoicing online.

Our policy will bring in changes that ensures working with NHSPS is an efficient and reliable experience for both parties and will include:

  • a ‘No PO, No Pay’ rule, meaning that without a valid Purchase Order issued by NHSPS, payment of supplier invoices will be delayed.
  • an easy, free, online e-billing solution, Tradeshift, to share invoices, information and documents with suppliers.

All suppliers of goods or services to NHSPS should only be accepted and goods or services delivered, after receipt of an official NHSPS Purchase Order number.

If you have any questions which are not answered by the below frequently asked questions, please call us on 0800 085 3015 or email

Why has NHSPS decided to implement a No PO, No Pay policy?
We are introducing this policy to increase efficiency in how we process payments to suppliers, making this an easier way to work together. In addition to the No PO, No Pay policy we are moving invoicing online using Tradeshift.

When does the No PO, No Pay policy come in to effect?
The No PO, No Pay policy applies to all goods, services and works placed with NHSPS (with the exception of those outlined below) from 1 November 2018.

Will I get paid any quicker if I quote a PO number?
Our standard payment terms are 30 days from the date of invoice. However, invoices received without a valid PO number quoted will not be paid and will be returned. This may lead to a delay in the payment process.

What is the PO number sequence I should expect to receive from NHSPS?
All valid PO numbers for NHSPS are in the format Pnnnnnnn where ‘n’ is number.

Past invoices without a PO number have been paid by NHSPS. Will this still happen?
As a result of formalising our purchasing arrangements, all financial commitments for goods and / or services must be made using a Purchase Order. As part of the ‘No PO, No Pay’ policy the supplier is expected to put the valid PO number on their invoices, otherwise it will not be possible to submit and the Tradeshift portal will reject the invoice.

If you do not have a valid PO number for a live piece of work, please contact the person who commissioned this work to obtain a number.

An invoice has been returned or rejected requesting a valid PO number to be provided. How can this be obtained?
You should contact the member of staff who gave the original instruction to supply the goods / services and ask them to provide a valid PO number. When obtained, you should submit a replacement invoice quoting the valid PO number via Tradeshift.

What should I do if I am not a supplier and I have received a letter?
Some individuals who have received payments from NHSPS in the past have been recognised in our accounting system as suppliers. If you have received a letter and do not provide us with goods and / or services, please disregard this letter and accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

Are there any services that are not affected by this policy?
Yes, we will not require a PO for;

  • Utilities
  • Telecommunications
  • Payments of rent to landlords
  • Travel

Consumption will not require a Purchase Order but purchase of goods or services will.

How will I receive the Purchase Order?
All Purchase Orders are made available to suppliers via Tradeshift. If you do not already have a Tradeshift account, we encourage you to contact for assistance. All invoices and associated documentation will be processed through Tradeshift.

 What happens if I receive a Purchase Order and it does not seem to be correct?
Contact the person who placed the Purchase Order initially and ask for clarification.

What should I do if I don’t receive a Purchase Order?
Contact the person who placed the verbal or email order and ask for a Purchase Order number.

What happens if I am asked to provide goods and / or services in an emergency?
There may be instances when an urgent order is needed, and it may not be possible to create a Purchase Order number before the goods and / or services are received. In this case, a purchase order number will be provided as soon as possible.

What happens if I supply services before receiving a PO?
Any supplier providing goods or services to NHSPS without a valid purchase order do this at their own risk.

Any invoices received without a quoted valid purchase order will be returned to the supplier asking for the referencing of a valid purchase order number before payment will be considered.

How can I find out about Tradeshift?
You can find out more about Tradeshift by visiting

Our committment to sustainability

In order to encourage the sustainable procurement of goods and services in all premises and across the organisation, NHSPS works in partnership with our suppliers, stakeholders and communities to consider the social, economic, environmental and ethical impact of our procurement techniques and processes.

Sustainability criteria is applied alongside value for money considerations in central purchasing.

A selection of our sustainability principles include:

    • Expectation that sustainable development principles (whole life costing) are embedded in core business
    • Contract assessment criteria on sustainable development principles
    • Utilisation of ‘Government’s Quick Wins’ to improve sustainable procurement for NHS Property Services
    • Driving of efficiencies through our bulk purchasing power and the Government Procurement Service
    • Reusing, refurbishing and recycling

For additional advice or information, please call 0800 085 3015 or email