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HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

Medical and surgical supplies: goods supplied to NHS Trusts

We receive many enquiries from NHS Trusts who claim the right to receive zero-rated supplies of a wide range of goods under item 2(a). The NHS is funded for the VAT paid on goods and appliances.

We usually find that many of the goods do not pass the ‘designed solely’ test. For example, surgical collars, may, in a particular hospital be used exclusively for severely injured or disabled patients, but that does not mean that they were ‘designed solely for that purpose’. They tend to be of a standard design which was intended for as wide a use as possible, including people suffering from short-term ‘whiplash’ injuries as a result of motoring accidents.