Endorsing correctly for Serious Shortage Protocols

Endorsing correctly for Serious Shortage Protocols

Endorsing correctly for Serious Shortage Protocols 

Dispensing practices are being encouraged make sure they are correctly using the new endorsement Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) to avoid invalid claims.

In February 2019, the government amended the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 to introduce SSPs. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) can issue an SSP if they decide there is a serious shortage of a specific medicine or appliance. In line with the changes, the NHSBSA introduced a new SSP endorsement, to replace the No Cheaper Stock Obtainable (NCSO) endorsement.

How to claim for an SSP:

When claiming for an SSP product on a non-electronic prescription:

• endorse SSP and the 3-digit reference number

• endorse the SSP product dispensed including strength, pharmaceutical form, and quantity

You can still use the ‘NCSO’ endorsement option if SSP endorsement functionality is not yet available on your dispensing system. However, NHSBA will be unable to accept NCSO endorsements from October 2021.


Further guidance is available at  Serious shortage protocols (SSPs) | NHSBSA

First Published
6 August 2021
Updated On
15 August 2023
Due to be Reviewed
28 August 2025
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