New SSP endorsement introduced

New SSP endorsement introduced

May 28, 2021

From 1 June 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has approved the use of a new endorsement to claim for any supplies made in accordance with an SSP.  The new endorsement uses the code ‘SSP’ followed by the three-digit reference number applicable to the SSP for example, SSP007 for Fluoxetine 30mg capsules would be endorsed as ‘SSP 007’.

To allow for implementation of this new SSP endorsement functionality, a transition period (1 June – 5 October) has been agreed to enable use of the existing ‘NCSO’ endorsement until the beginning of October 2021 (to include September SSP claims, submitted by the 5 October). During the transition period, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) will accept either the new ‘SSP’ or existing ‘NCSO’ endorsement for any SSP claims submitted using electronic prescriptions, EPS tokens of FP10 paper prescriptions.

After the transition period only the new SSP endorsement will be accepted by the NHSBSA on electronic and paper prescriptions. Any SSP claims made using EPS tokens after October 2021 will no longer be accepted for payment.

Details of the new SSP endorsement and transitional arrangements are outlined in June 2021 Drug Tariff (Part II Clause 9E). These changes are also reflected in PSNC’s updated SSP endorsing guidance (see link below)
PSNC Briefing 011/21: Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) updated endorsing guidance

The update will affect all future SSPs as well as the following SSPs which are currently in effect:

SSP Expiry Date
SSP05: Fluoxetine 10mg tablets
(Note: for endorsement purposes, SSP05 should be endorsed as SSP005)
13 August 2021
SSP007: Fluoxetine 30mg capsules 13 August 2021
SSP012: Estradot® 75 microgram patches 11 June 2021

Please note: expiry dates of an SSP may be brought forward or extended, and the content may be amended at any time during the life of an SSP. Pharmacists should ensure they are using the latest version of an SSP before considering the supply of an alternative product. When supplying in accordance with these SSPs, contractors should refer to the updated endorsement guidance for each SSP available on NHSBSA’s SSP page.

Why has a new endorsement for SSPs been introduced?

When SSPs were first introduced in 2019, the use of the ‘NCSO’ endorsement was agreed as a temporary workaround to claim for supplies made in accordance with an SSP. Since then, work has been underway by the NHSBSA and NHS Digital to introduce the new SSP endorsement functionality into dispensing systems.

Although most dispensing systems now have this new SSP endorsement functionality, its availability will depend on the speed of its roll-out to users by system suppliers.  From June 2021, contractors are encouraged to start using this new SSP endorsement functionality, where available, to claim for any supplies made in accordance with SSPs. If the new SSP endorsement functionality is not yet available to users of certain dispensing systems, contractors can continue to use the existing ‘NCSO’ endorsement option until the beginning of October 2021 (to include September SSP claims, submitted by the 5 October).

Other key updates

  • For a Multiple Dispensed Product SSP – where a prescribed item is replaced by two or more items (for example, SSP007 for Fluoxetine 30mg capsules allows for the 10mg and 20mg capsules to be supplied instead of the prescribed Fluoxetine 30mg capsules), some dispensing systems may accommodate the new SSP endorsements for both replacement items whereas other systems may only accommodate endorsement of one replacement item. Where only one of the replacement products can be endorsed, the NHSBSA will add and reimburse the other replacement items.
  • Specific SSP endorsement guidance also applies to replacement product(s) which are not listed in Part VIII of the Drug Tariff.

Additional information

PSNC’s SSP page and list of active SSPs

NHSBSA’s SSP page



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