National Cost Collection for the NHS

The National Cost Collection publication comprises aggregated costs (the average unit cost of providing defined services to NHS patients in England) and patient-level costs/PLICS (a cost based on the specific interactions a patient has, and the events related to their healthcare activity).

NHS providers submit costs annually. These costs are used to inform a number of work streams including the PLICS portal, the Model Hospital, the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme and national tariff prices. They are a key source of information about the cost of NHS services.

2018/19 National Cost Collection data

We have produced a short document of highlights and analysis and a guide to using the National Cost Collection data.

The cost data is then presented in four ways: 

  • the national schedules of NHS costs 
  • the National Cost Collection Index (NCCI)
  • the reconciliation statement 
  • a database of source data 

Introduction and data spreadsheets

National Cost Collection 2018/19: highlights, analysis and introduction to the data PDF, 227.7 KB

This document shows highlights, analysis and an introduction to the 2018/19 data.

National schedule of NHS costs XLSX, 3.0 MB

The main schedule, showing data for the whole range of services provided by provider, including admitted patient care on a finished consultant episode (FCE) basis.

The National Cost Collection index (NCCI) XLSX, 138.4 KB

The National Cost Collection index (NCCI) is a measure of the relative cost difference between NHS providers.

The National Cost Collection index by department and service code XLSX, 7.7 MB

A more granular view of the National Cost Collection index by department and service code.

Reconciliation Statement XLSX, 347.5 KB

Shows the adjustments made to get from provider audited financial accounts to their total reference costs.

2018/19 National Cost Collection data files

Cost data is held in large csv files and should be accessed using MS Access or other database software. Data at sub-national level is reported using NHS Digital’s Data Disclosure rules. Therefore where the activity count is less than 8 the actual figure has been replaced with a ‘*’. Users of the data will still be able to calculate a full national quantum of costs from the files published.

National Cost Collection 2018/19: A guide to using the data PDF, 548.2 KB

This document gives advice on how to use the data contained in the three zip files below.

Organisation level source data part 1 ZIP, 29.5 MB

Unadjusted data as submitted by NHS providers in England.

Organisation level source data part 2 ZIP, 31.6 MB

Market forces factor (MFF) adjusted data.

Organisation level source data part 3 ZIP, 200.3 KB

Remaining organisational source level data and reference cost survey responses

Archived reference costs

Please see the page Archived Reference Costs to view the reference costs for the financial years 2017/18 and 2016/17, along with a link to earlier cost collections on the Department of Health website.

Help and support

If you have any queries on this project or costing in general please email to

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