ELFS Shared Services, on behalf of the following NHS Trusts, is improving its ordering and supplier payment processes to make them quicker, more secure and cost effective.

As part of the improvements, they are rolling out an easy to use and low tech electronic invoicing service for suppliers that will replace the option to send paper invoices by post.

If you are visiting this page it means you are a key supplier to one or more of these NHS Trusts and are being asked to move away from paper and onto electronic invoicing instead.

The following section details questions often asked by suppliers participating in the ELFS Shared Services e-invoicing programme.

What email address do I send invoices to?

The email address to send invoices to is as listed below for each of ELFS customer organisations:

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust – elfs.306beh@cloud-trade.net – from 1st October 2019 onwards

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust: elfs.820bco@cloud-trade.net

Bournemouth and Poole Charitable Funds:  elfs.rbphtf@cloud-trade.net

East Lancashire Charitable Funds:  elfs.elhttf@cloud-trade.net

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust:  elfs.435ELH@cloud-trade.net

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust:  elfs.812hcom@cloud-trade.net

Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust:  elfs.367hpar@cloud-trade.net

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust:  elfs.356hey@cloud-trade.net

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust:  elfs.290imp@cloud-trade.net

London Ambulance Service:  elfs.308LAS@cloud-trade.net

North East London NHS Foundation Trust – elfs.395nel@cloud-trade.com – from 1st January 2020 onwards

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust:  elfs.352pat@cloud-trade.net

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust:  elfs.428pht@cloud-trade.net

Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:  elfs.153RBC@cloud-trade.net

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust:  elfs.236SAL@cloud-trade.net

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:  elfs.328ste@cloud-trade.net

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: elfs.245TGH@cloud-trade.net

University Hospitals of North Midlands:  elfs.205uhnm@cloud-trade.net

When do I start?

Now – please send all future invoices for ELFS Shared Services to the above email address.

What is required from you as a supplier?

The new service has been designed with simplicity in mind in order to minimise the impact on your operations.  All we ask is for you to send PDF invoices from your existing accounts system to the email address that ELFS Shared Services will provide when ready to go live.

The invoice data from each invoice received into the email account will be securely uploaded into our financial system for payment.

What are the charges?

The service is free for suppliers.

Can I send any type of PDF?

The only constraint of the service is that the PDF must be machine generated, i.e. produced directly from the billing application raising the invoice.

When a PDF is machine generated in almost all cases it will be a text PDF, with the invoice data items carried directly within the PDF.  Our service takes advantage of this and maps the invoice data direct from the PDF to an e-invoice structure – in other words, the service is akin to mapping one flavour of XML to another flavour of XML.

If the PDF is generated by scanning the invoice, an image or photo of the invoice will be passed in the PDF. Unfortunately the only way to process image PDFs is to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology – this approach cannot guarantee data quality. For these reasons we are not able to accept image PDF files.

I’m unable to send a machine generated PDF

If you are unable to generate a PDF straight from your billing application, there are a couple of options:

PDF Driver

There a numerous free to install PDF drivers on the internet, which when downloaded simply allow you to print to PDF in the same way as you would normally print to a printer. Examples include: CutePDF or Bullzip

Other e-document formats supported

Alternatively, we also support other data documents such as: XML, HTML, EDI, .doc, .csv, that can be delivered either via email or via a data transfer protocol such as FTP, HTTP, etc. If this option is preferred, please contact us so that we can set the appropriate service up.

If you are still unable to generate a supported document then please mail elfs.suppliers@cloudtrade.zendesk.com and one of our consultants will be in contact to discuss your options.

What if I usually send supporting documentation with my invoice?

No problem. We can accept backing data in the following two options and you cannot switch between different formats:

  • invoice and backing data sent in a single PDF; you can attach multiple PDFs to one email – this method can be used without informing ELFS
  • a data-rich invoice PDF and a separate backing data file (scanned image or data rich document) sent as two files attached to the same email;
    you must only send one invoice and its associated backing data in a single email – if you use this method for backing data then provide misba.khan@elht.nhs.uk with an example of your invoice so that we can put the appropriate instructions in place

Where do I send correspondence and other ‘non-invoice’ documents?

Any documentation that is not associated directly with an invoice (i.e. correspondence, marketing material, etc) should be sent to your normal customer contact.

Can I send more than one invoice per email?

Yes. We can support many scenarios, including:

  • One invoice file on one email
  • Multiple invoice files on one email
  • Multiple invoices in the same file
  • Invoices and attachments in the same PDF file
  • Invoice and attachments as separate files

Please note, if you do send supporting documents with your invoice, please only include one invoice and supporting document per email (NOT multiple invoices and multiple attachments on the same email).

What software do I need to deploy?

Nothing. As long as you can produce an invoice as a data document e.g. PDF, HTML, Word (which most billing applications can) and can send via email, you don’t need to install any new software.

I have some questions – who do I contact?

If you have any questions, please submit them via one of the following channels:

  1. Contact the supplier enablement manager at our contractors, CloudTrade at: elfs.suppliers@cloudtrade.zendesk.com
  2. Contact East Lancashire Financial Services (ELFS), Misba khan, Project & Administration, Misba.khan@elht.nhs.uk or ELFS Help desk at: elfs_helpdesk@elht.nhs.uk or call 01254 732014