Approved Costing Guidance 2020

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Healthcare costing standards and collection guidance for collection year 2020.

Back to the main Approved Costing Guidance page.

Introduction

NHS England and NHS Improvement Approved Costing Guidance is the inclusive term for the:

  • Costing Principles
  • Costing Standards
  • National Cost Collection Guidance

When reviewing the Approved Costing Guidance is it important to note that all paragraphs have equal importance, but each document will relate to different financial years. You can easily identify which financial year the document should be applied to by referencing the table on the front of each word document.

The Approved Costing Guidance published on this page supersedes all earlier versions and is mandated for all sectors with the exception of Community Providers.

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The main audience for the standards is healthcare costing professionals, but they have been written with secondary audiences in mind, such as clinicians, informatics and finance colleagues. While we refer to ‘patients’ in the context of patient-level costing, we recognise that people who access mental health services prefer to be referred to as service users, clients or residents. The use of the term ‘patient’ across all sectors allows us to maintain consistency in the standards for an individual’s entire health and social care pathway.

There are three types of standard: information requirements, costing processes, costing methods.

  • Information requirements describe the information you need to collect for costing
  • Costing processes describe the costing process you should follow
  • Costing methods focus on high volume and high value services or departments.

The first two sets of standards make up the main costing process and they should be implemented in numerical order, before the costing methods. We have ordered the standards linearly but, as aspects of the costing process can happen simultaneously, where helpful we have cross-referenced to information in later standards.

The costing methods should be implemented after the information requirements and costing processes, and prioritised based on the value and volume of the service for your organisation.

All the standards are published on our website. Two accompanying technical documents contain information required to implement the standards, which are presented in Excel. Cross-references within the standards narrative referencing spreadsheets (eg Spreadsheet CP3.3) refer to the technical documents.

We have produced tools and templates to help you implement the standards. These are available to download below.

For detail on the Approved Costing Guidance - Standards on the below page can be found in the Approved Costing Guidance introduction here.

Approved Costing Guidance - standards

Quick start guide for the healthcare costing standards PDF, 177.6 KB

An overview of the costing process and how to start implementing the standards.

Integrated standards

Healthcare costing standards - integrated costing processes PDF, 806.0 KB

Standards to be used by NHS providers within the acute and mental health sectors (collection year 2020).

Healthcare costing standards - integrated technical document XLSX, 20.3 MB

Supports the implementation of the standards by providing required information that is best presented in Excel format.
This version is file name ‘INT_Tec_Final+v3’. This was added on 19 March 2020 and updates the previous version from 28 February 2020.
The changes are shown on the change log within the document, and are limited to a small number of typographical errors.

Acute

Healthcare costing standards – acute: information requirements and costing processes PDF, 548.3 KB

Standards for the main costing process for acute sector

Healthcare costing standards – acute: costing methods PDF, 1.1 MB

Standards for high volume or value services or departments. To be implemented after information requirements and costing processes.

Ambulance

Healthcare costing standards - ambulance: information requirements and costing processes PDF, 951.8 KB

Standards for the main costing process for ambulance providers

Healthcare costing standards - ambulance: costing methods PDF, 521.6 KB

Standards for high volume or value services or departments. To be implemented after information requirements and costing processes.

Healthcare costing standards - ambulance: technical document XLSX, 2.3 MB

Supports the implementation of the standards by providing required information that is best presented in Excel format.

Mental health

Healthcare costing standards - mental health: information requirements PDF, 584.4 KB

Standards for the main costing process for mental health sector.

Healthcare costing standards - mental health: costing methods PDF, 1.2 MB

Standards for high volume or value services or departments. To be implemented after information requirements and costing processes.

Community

The Community Costing Methods can be found on the Approved Costing Guidance 2021 page.

Education and Training

Education and training: Transitional method for the treatment of income and expenditure PDF, 224.5 KB

New version to be published Spring 2020.

Outlines the 2018/19 transitional method for netting off E&T income from patient-level costs (PLICS) and reference costs, developed with DHSC’s Education and Training working group.

Tools and templates for implementing standards

These tools and templates are non-mandated, but are advisory to ensure you can administer your costing processes successfully.

Auto-mapper - general ledger to costing ledger expense code mapping PDF, 1.1 MB

This document provides a walkthrough of the auto-mapper software. The automapper itself is available from the online learning platform.

Integrated costing assurance log XLSX, 166.1 KB

This template provides a standard format for a costing assurance log. It should be used by all providers. This used to be known as the costing manual. New version added 29 May 2020.

Information gap analysis XLSX, 240.8 KB

Template to assess the gaps between the information collected by your organisation and the information required by the costing standards at the individual field level.

Standards gap analysis - integrated XLSX, 66.8 KB

Template to identify gaps that may make it difficult to implement the healthcare costing standards.

Standards gap analysis - ambulance XLSX, 73.0 KB

Template to identify gaps that may make it difficult to implement the ambulance healthcare costing standards.

Resource Application Hierarchy XLSX, 7.7 MB

If you cannot find a suitable costing account code in CP2.1 (technical document) this tool will enable you to customise your cost ledger. New version added 29 May 2020.

Approved Costing Guidance - collections

National cost collection guidance 2020

National Cost Collection Guidance 2020 Volume 1: Overview PDF, 615.1 KB

This document sets out the scope and governance for the National Cost Collection and should be read by all organisations regardless of sector or type (PLICS or aggregated workbook) of submission in 2020.

National Cost Collection Guidance 2020 Volume 2: Reconciliation and Exclusions PDF, 459.4 KB

This document gives guidance to the reconciliation process for cost data submitted in all national cost collections, whether patient-level costs (PLICS) or aggregate costs.

National Cost Collection Guidance 2020 Volume 3: Acute Sector PDF, 1.2 MB

This document provides guidance on the 2020 National Cost Collection for the acute sector

National Cost Collection Guidance 2020 Volume 6: Community Sector PDF, 581.0 KB

This document is for trusts that primarily provide community services and describes the collection process for submitting their activity and cost data in the NCC workbook for financial year 2019/20.

National Cost Collection Guidance 2020 Volume 7: Data Submission PDF, 2.2 MB

This document captures all remaining guidance not included in Volumes 1 to 6, including user guides for the two main tools. It also addresses the impact of COVID-19 on the use of costing standards and the cost collection.

Volumes 4 (ambulance) and 5i (mental health) of the 2020 National cost collection guidance will be published in July 2020. Volume 5ii (IAPT) will be published in August 2020

National Cost Collection: Extracts and Tools

Acute extract file specification XLSX, 1.9 MB

Sets out the data fields and format required by NHS Digital for the PLICS submission. This includes XML and CSV formats. New version added 29 May 2020.

Acute Data Validation Tool - business rules XLSX, 359.8 KB

Contains the checks performed in the NHS Improvement data validation tool. New version added 29 May 2020.

Structure of XML files for submission to NHS Digital and Schema Base Elements ZIP, 20.7 KB

Sets out the structure for the XML files which will be submitted to NHS Digital. These files are targeted at software suppliers for inclusion in their costing solution (where the decision is taken to produce the XML files directly). New version added 29 May 2020.

TEST National Cost Collection workbook v1 XLSM, 21.4 MB

Test version of the National Cost Collection workbook template for submitting costs not currently collected at patient level and the reconciliation. Please note the version that is submitted to NHS Digital in the collection window should be downloaded from SDCS.

Voluntary collections guidance

Voluntary collections are now closed for 2019 and will be replaced throughout 2020. Please use documentation below for reference only in preparation for your 2020 mandated or voluntary submission.

Ambulance

Ambulance PLICS cost collection guidance 2019 (FY 2018/19) PDF, 266.3 KB

Gives the technical specifications for ambulance service providers to follow for the collection of 2018/19 PLICS data in 2019.

Ambulance PLICS extract file specification 2019 (FY 1819) XLSX, 91.8 KB

Sets out the data fields and format required for the voluntary ambulance PLICS submission in 2019.

Ambulance Data Validation Tool - business rules 2019 (FY 1819) XLSX, 58.6 KB

Contains the checks performed in the NHS Improvement Data Validation Tool (DVT).

Mental health and IAPT

Mental Health and IAPT PLICS collection guidance 2019 (FY 1819) PDF, 519.6 KB

Gives the technical specifications for mental health and IAPT service providers to follow for the collection of 2018/19 PLICS data in 2019.

Mental Health PLICS extract file specification 2019 (FY 1819) XLSX, 97.0 KB

Sets out the data fields and format required for the voluntary Mental Health PLICS submission in 2019.

Mental Health Data Validation Tool - business rules 2019 (FY 1819) XLSX, 126.3 KB

Contains the checks performed in the NHS Improvement Data Validation Tool (DVT).

IAPT PLICS Extract File Specification 2019 (FY 1819) XLSX, 92.3 KB

Sets out the data fields and format required for the voluntary IAPT PLICS submission in 2019.

IAPT Data Validation Tool - business rules 2019 (FY 1819) XLSX, 126.5 KB

Contains the checks performed in the NHS Improvement Data Validation Tool (DVT).

Format and structure for mental health submission and Schema Base Elements ZIP, 3.9 KB

Sets out the structure of files for submission to NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Format and structure for IAPT submission and Schema Base Elements ZIP, 3.2 KB

Sets out the structure of files for submission to NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Community

Community PLICS cost collection guidance 2019 (FY 2018/19) PDF, 309.3 KB

Gives the technical specifications for community service providers to follow for the collection of 2018/19 PLICS data in 2019.

Community PLICS extract file specification 2019 (FY 1819) XLSX, 776.2 KB

Sets out the data fields and format required for the voluntary Community PLICS submission in 2019.

Community Data Validation Tool - business rules 2019 (FY 1819) XLSX, 223.9 KB

Contains the checks performed in the NHS Improvement Data Validation Tool (DVT).

Format and structure for Community submission and Schema Base Elements ZIP, 18.6 KB

Sets out the structure of files for submission to NHS England and NHS Improvement.

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