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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Mandatory request spend comparison scheme

A mandatory request from NHS Improvement to NHS Digital  to establish and operate a system for the collection and analysis of provider purchase order and invoice data required to provide the Spend Comparison Scheme. 

In accordance with the Health and Care Act 2022 and the Health and Care Act 2022 (Commencement No. 2 and Transitional and Saving Provision) Regulations 2022, as of 1 July 2022 Monitor (NHS Improvement) is abolished.

All mandatory requests from Monitor (NHS Improvement) are to be treated as a direction by NHS England to NHS Digital under section 254 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.


The information gathered from the Spend Comparison Scheme will be used to enable NHS Improvement to help providers reduce cost and improve quality of provider services.

It will: 

  • inform NHS national aggregation initiatives such as Nationally Contracted Products
  • inform strategic programmes led by GIRFT, NHS Improvement and NHS Supply Chain 
  • help providers to maximise use of their resources and improve efficiencies, as required by the provider licence 
  • help identify the relationship between patient characteristics and cost
  • and support an approach to benchmarking for regulatory purposes.

NHS Improvement has contacted all the trusts set out in the list in Annex B and has requested their express authority in making this request also on their behalf. Those trusts that have expressly confirmed as at the date of this letter are detailed in Annex B.

Further trusts may join at any time as further set out in Annex B by registering and joining the Spend Comparison Scheme.

As set out in the scheme terms as available on the scheme portal, NHS Improvement will act as agent for each of those participating trusts and may on its own and on behalf of the participating trusts request that NHS Digital cease the system for the collection and analysis of data at any time.  

Learn more about the Mandatory Request spend comparison scheme

Last edited: 5 July 2022 3:13 pm