We are a team of pharmacy professionals and support staff, commissioned by NHS England, to provide advice and guidance on Medicines Optimisation.

Our history

SPS was founded in 1974. Since then, the team have been on an evolving journey supporting medicines use in the NHS.

Our people and teams

Our team consists of approximately 100 whole time equivalent pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and support staff.

Our people are experts in their field, with experience across all sectors of pharmacy within the NHS. We work together to provide specialist guidance and advice about medicines for use by health care professionals.

Dr Justine Scanlan leads the service that comprises 5 service elements known internally as “functions”.


Ben Rehman leads the Digital function. The digital team work with each SPS function as well as with external suppliers and stakeholders to maintain and develop the digital product offer. They aim to deliver value to end-users from SPS’s digital offer by applying relevant standards including those from NHS Digital.

Medicines Advice

Dr Mark Cheeseman leads the Medicines Advice (MA) function. There are 3 core service elements to this function: clinical enquiry answering, provision of information and resources, and support to the Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee network.

Medicines Use and Safety

Tracy Rogers leads the Medicines Use and Safety (MUS) function. This team supports the safe use of medicines across the NHS by providing resources and outputs that prevent duplication. They also develop and facilitate professional networks.


James Kent leads the Procurement function. The team of Regional Pharmacy Procurement Specialists (RPPS) work together to ensure that hospital pharmacies can access the medicines they need for their patients.

Quality Assurance

Mark Jackson leads the Quality Assurance (QA) function. This team supports the continuous quality improvement in the governance arrangements for the safe handling, preparation and purchasing of medicines across the NHS. They do this through the provision of advice, best practice guidance and implementation resources.

How we are funded

SPS is commissioned by NHS England to provide services across the NHS England regions. There are nine provider trusts across England who are contracted to host SPS team members, with other Trusts or organisations subcontracted as needed.

Our contracts and providers

The supra-organisational arrangement of the service enables access to expertise and knowledge at a cost that is significantly less than would be the case if each of the functions were to be replicated locally.

Contracts to deliver the service specification are let to providers on a 3-year basis, with current contracts covering the period to 31 March 2025.

Our people span all regions of NHS England. However, we are a close-knit group of highly experienced pharmacy professionals and support staff, and operate as a single integrated team.