Good Invoicing Practice

To help ensure NHS SBS can process invoices quickly and efficiently, we ask suppliers to follow the good invoicing guidelines listed below. We can accept single invoice PDFs by email. The email address below is only used for processing invoices.

Only emails received which meet the specified format will be processed. Emails which do not meet these criteria will be automatically deleted. The email address is:

PDF IconClick here to download our Invoice Template

1. Ensure your company name is clearly stated on the invoice. This will allow your invoice to be paid correctly.

2. Ensure your company address (including postcode) is shown on the invoice. Missing details may result in delayed payment or returned invoices. Your postcode is essential as this allows us to pay the correct site within our accounting system. Failure to provide your postcode could result in incorrect payments. Please ensure all relevant telephone and email addresses are also provided as this will allow us to contact you quickly if there is any reason why your invoice cannot be processed.

3. Highlight which organisation you are billing. This must be the organisation / client address only and not the individual hospital address. If the organisation name, organisation ID or payables code is missing from the invoice/ credit note it will be returned as NHS SBS will be unable to process it.

4. Clearly identify your document type an invoice or credit note. If this is not stated your invoice/ credit note may be returned.

5. Ensure that your invoice/ credit note has an identifiable invoice/ credit note number stated. This needs to be a unique reference number. Invoices received without an invoice/ credit note number will be returned. Our system is able to process invoice numbers of up to 39 alphanumeric characters.

6. Ensure the tax point/ invoice date is clearly shown. This allows us to action your invoice within the correct payment terms.

7. Clearly show the ship to address to allow the invoice to be allocated to the correct department within the organisation. Not advising of the delivery address may delay payment.

8. Include any important comments on your invoice which will speed up the processing time. For example credit notes require the related invoice number to be quoted to allow them to be matched to the original invoice.

9. Quote all purchase order (PO) numbers provided. Not providing the correct PO number will delay the payment of your invoice. It may cause issues with matching and if you are flagged as 100% PO supplier for the organisation billed this will result in your invoice being returned to you. Please check with the organisation you are billing if you are flagged as 100% PO supplier. Please note that quoting an incorrect or expired PO will cause delays in payment. If an organisation is ordering against a call off order please ensure you request a new PO if the previous order has expired. If there is no PO number provided please quote the name of the person requesting the goods in the PO box. This should be in the format of XX first initial and last name, for example XXJBLOGGS. Providing this information will allow it to be processed more swiftly.

10. Advising the contact name of who ordered the goods will allow the invoice to be processed more swiftly.

11. Ensure all goods/ service details are provided. Advise of quantity billed, item description, unit price and total value. If all the information is provided it will enable the invoice to be processed easily allowing for prompt payment. Missing information could delay payment.

12. Quote all relevant bank details. If bank details are not quoted, your invoice may be paid via cheque. Please quote all remittance addresses to allow us to post or email the remittance to the correct location. If your invoice is above the organisations cheque threshold and you have not quoted bank details, payment of your invoice may be delayed.

13. Delivery note numbers are very useful. When quoted, they can help speed up the invoice processing.

14. Please state your payment terms on all invoices.

15. Ensure a clear breakdown of invoice value is provided. Invoices that are calculated incorrectly will be returned. Advise of any handling or freight charges. Ensure a clear VAT breakdown is provided to avoid delays.

16. In addition, please ensure your invoice/ credit note:

  • Is legible. Items should be clear to be scanned onto our system.
  • Is not printed on dark paper or in purple ink for scanning purposes.
  • Is not handwritten. An example invoice template can be seen above.
  • Is not stapled as this may create problems when it is scanned.
  • It contains the relevant supporting information, such as timesheets.

17. In accordance with the NHS requirements for Pseudonymisation, NHS SBS promotes the non-use of NHS Patient Identifiable information for invoicing purposes, including Patient Names and NHS numbers. Use of these details in the description sections of an invoice may result in the invoice being refused / delayed by the relevant NHS Organisation. We recommend that you confirm with the commissioning service the level of details required to be included or any alternative procedures they require to support an invoice. A list of those areas for CCG’s that have a secure area to send supporting information to can be found at: NHS England – Invoice validation.

PDF IconClick here to download our Invoice Template


We would like to inform you that with effect from 1 July 2022, Clinical commissioning Groups (CCG’s) will transition into new statutory NHS organisations called “Integrated Care Boards”. You should have been notified by the relevant CCG that you work with via letter. NHS SBS aims to make this transfer as smooth as possible, both for you as a supplier and for the Integrated Care Boards.

The following breakdown reflects which CCG will be merging into which ICB from 1 July.

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