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Spend Comparison Service


The Spend Comparison Service provides benchmarking and spend analytics on purchase order data from across all of NHS England’s providers including acute hospital, ambulance and mental health trusts.

The data gathered from the collections will be processed and displayed via analytics dashboards. The data is available to a variety of NHS procurement, finance and clinical users.

The analytical information will more effectively enable NHS Improvement to help providers reduce cost and improve the quality of their services.

The Spend Comparison Service will:

  • inform strategic programmes led by Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), NHS Improvement and NHS Supply Chain
  • inform NHS national aggregation initiatives such as Nationally Contracted Products
  • help providers maximise their use of resources and become more efficient, as required by the provider licence
  • help identify the relationship between patient characteristics and cost
  • support an approach to benchmarking for regulatory purposes

Background to the service

The Spend Comparison service, launched on 1 August 2019, replaces NHS Improvement’s Purchase Price Index and Benchmarking service (PPIB).

The PPIB tool was the first national data set of all provider purchase order data. It has been a huge success with more than 113 million purchase order lines uploaded from 245 different organisations across all provider sectors, enabling the comparison of £14 billion of NHS expenditure. 

Since its initial release, the PPIB has informed provider's daily purchasing decisions and contract negotiations. Further, it provides a source of intelligence:

  • for regional cost saving plans
  • for GIRFT
  • when implementing a new operating model for the NHS procurement and supply chain management

All trusts are now required to upload their procurement data each month to NHS Digital Strategic Data Collections Service (SDCS).

The service is comprised of two data collections

Purchase Order

This is data from trust purchasing systems. It describes purchase orders for goods and services, including item name and description, volumes, cost, and supplier information.


Purchase Order Validation

Purchase order data sometimes does not reflect the actual price paid for the goods or services where adjustments and suppression need to be made to account for rebates, bulk purchases, bundled deals and research considerations. The Purchase Order Validation collection enables feedback of these adjustments and suppressions at a purchase order line or product code level.

The collection schedule

The window for data submission for the Purchase Order collection falls within the first two weeks of each calendar month. Trusts must submit the previous months data during the two-week window. 

Submitted data is processed towards the end of each calendar month and will be made available for analysis via the dashboards no later than the 1 of the following month.

Launch and submissions dates


Launch date

Deadline date

June 2019

3 July 2019

17 July 2019

July 2019

1 August 2019

15 August 2019

August 2019

2 September 2019

16 September 2019

September 2019

1 October 2019

15 October 2019

October 2019

1 November 2019

15 November 2019

November 2019

2 December 2019

16 December 2019

December 2019

2 January 2020

16 January 2020

If the submission window is missed for any reason, then an extension can be granted on request.

The Purchase Order Validation collection will be permanently open and will allow trusts to supply adjustments to previously submitted purchase order data at any time.

Training and guidance

A range of training and support materials for the Spend Comparison Service will be available for users here by 1 August 2019.

For data submission guidance go to the Strategic Data Collection Service webpage.

Contact us

For further information or support please contact our NHS National Service Desk.


Telephone: 0300 303 5035

Last edited: 3 July 2019 8:49 am