Non-contract activity (NCA)

Non-contract activity (NCA) is the term used to describe NHS-funded services delivered to a patient by a provider which does not hold a contract with NHS Kernow, but does with another CCG. View our non-contract activity policy (PDF, 530kb).

NHS Kernow will fund non-contract activity through the following procedures:

Prior notification

NHS Kernow has a duty to fund treatment where a patient has exercised ‘patient choice’ (a GP, dentist or optometrist referral to consultant-led elective care). However, in order to ensure payment, providers are requested to complete a prior notification form (DOC, 161kb) and submit it to

The provider will be issued with a prior notification reference which will enable payment. 

Prior approval

NHS Kernow does not have a duty to fund treatment outside of patient choice. In these circumstances, providers will need to seek prior approval before payment. Providers are required to complete a prior approval form (DOC, 165kb) and submit it to

The provider will be issued with a prior approval reference. Where an invoice is submitted without a prior approval reference, payment will not be made.

Transport requests

NHS Kernow will repatriate NHS Kernow patients from anywhere in the UK where they meet the nationally defined medical criteria. The patient transport service (PTS) is for patients who have been assessed as requiring transport due to medical need, and is mainly limited to ambulance transport. The NHS is not able to provide PTS for social reasons, or for privately funded appointments and treatment, and there are strict national eligibility criteria for this type of transport depending on the patient’s medical condition and the amount of support or assistance required on the journey.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust now handles all patient transport service assessments and bookings for NHS Kernow patients. If a provider has a patient they need to repatriate and they qualify for NHS transport, they should telephone the PTS office on 01872 252211 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, weekends and bank holidays 9.30am to 5pm).