Contractor Notice: 11 SSPs for Pen V and Sandrena further extended

Update 27/4/2023 – The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has provided an update on 11 Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) that were due to expire 28 April 2023. The following SSPs have been further extended to 12 May 2023. Please note that unless there are unexpected changes to the supply situation this will be the final extension to the SSPs listed below; after 12 May 2023, these SSPs will expire.


Update 31/3/2023 – The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has provided an update on 11 Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) that were due to expire 31 March 2023. The following SSPs have been further extended to 28 April 2023:

SSP029 for Sandrena® 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – restriction 

SSP030 for Sandrena® 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – substitution 

SSP031 for Sandrena® 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – substitution and restriction 

SSP040 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution sugar free

SSP041 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution sugar free 

SSP042 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution 

SSP043 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution 

SSP044 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution sugar free 

SSP045 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution 

SSP046 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution sugar free 

SSP047 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg tablets 


Pharmacy contractors should note a number of changes that have been made to different SSPs.

SSP Extensions

SSP029 for Sandrena® 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – restriction has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP030 for Sandrena® 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – substitution has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP031 for Sandrena® 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – substitution and restriction has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP040 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution sugar free has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP041 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution sugar free has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP042 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP043 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP044 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution sugar free has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP045 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP046 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution sugar free has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

SSP047 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg tablets has been extended to 31 March 2023. It was previously set to expire on 28 February 2023.

Pharmacists should ensure they are looking at the latest version of the SSP and endorsement guidance on the NHSBSA website.

Contractors will receive an email to their shared NHSmail account informing them of these changes and pharmacy teams are advised to read the documentation  in full and to implement the protocols with immediate effect. Pharmacists are required to read and comply with the requirements outlined within the individual SSP as published on the NHSBSA website.

Top tips for SSP claims

  • Where available, use the claim amend facility on the PMR system to rectify any incorrect EPS claims already submitted this month.
  • Any paper prescriptions with SSP claims need to be placed in the red separator provided by the NHSBSA.
  • For any supplies made in accordance with SSPs, check that the correct number of patient charges are collected and declared on the end of month FP34C submission document.
  • Although an SSP cannot be used outside its period of validity, claims can be submitted up to three calendar months after expiry or withdrawal of the SSP.
  • NHSBSA advise that contractors must follow the specific endorsement guidance issued with each SSP and endorsements should be clear and unambiguous – NHSBSA processing staff must be able to determine what has been supplied.
  • Pharmacy contractors should keep a record of all SSP claims submitted each month to reconcile against their monthly Schedule of Payments or Prescription Item (Px) reports.
  • View our SSP submission guidance to ensure your SSP claims are appropriately submitted to NHSBSA  for reimbursement.

Click here to see PSNC’s top tips to claim for and reconcile SSP payments.

Support in implementing the SSPs

The following resources have been developed to support pharmacy teams in using these protocols.

Current versions of SSPs

Live SSPs

PSNC’s Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) Endorsing Factsheet

PSNC Briefing 023/19: Serious Shortage Protocols – A guide for community pharmacy teams

Serious Shortage Protocols Operational Guidance

Serious Shortage Protocols Questions & Answers

Background information on SSPs

Further information on what SSPs are and when they may be used is available via the links below.

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) on-demand webinar

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) webpage

Support the call for more funding by recording information about the informal advice you provide to patients over just one day.

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