ESSU was commissioned by UNISON Northern to prepare a detailed report on a PPD/KPMG proposal to outsource and offshore prescription processing. This comprehensive report examines value for money, risk assessment, insourcing trends, public cost analysis and other issues. A decision to outsource was expected in November 2006 but has been postponed indefinitly following intervention by the Health Minister.
The Prescription Pricing Division (PPD) of the NHS Business Services Authority is responsible for the processing and payment of prescriptions from GPs and 10,000 pharmacists. It provides an important financial, prescribing and drug information service to over 35,000 prescribers in England; the help with health costs service to over 5m patients annually and operates the European Health Insurance Card. The PPD processes 755m items on NHS prescriptions annually which have a direct bearing on the £8 billion NHS drugs bill.