Proposals to scrap the barrier protecting health services from European procurement rules could place a “significant administrative burden” on NHS organisations, the NHS Confederation has warned.

Under European law, health and social care are exempt from many of the rules governing the way public bodies buy goods and services. But a European Commission green paper “casts doubt” on whether the exemptions are appropriate.

The change could, for example, require organisations to advertise contracts in the Official Journal of the EU, according to the confederation.

Potential changes to the definition of bodies subject to the rules could also have implications, it adds.

NHS procurement managers can respond to the confederation’s consultation by 4 April, by emailing