Shared planning guidance for NHS trusts and foundation trusts


Planning guidance for the NHS for 2019/20 from England's leading national health and care bodies.

NHS shared planning guidance

This guidance sets out detailed requirements for organisational and system planning, the financial settlement, operational plan requirements and the process and timescales around the submission of plans. 

It takes forward implementation of the Five Year Forward View and sets out the expectations for the NHS in 2019/20, recognising the NHS Long Term Plan which sets the direction for the future.

For any queries please contact your NHS Improvement delivery and improvement teams.


All providers are required to submit a narrative that supports the finance, activity and workforce returns alongside the approach to quality. This narrative should address our key requirements of provider plans and be submitted to us in draft form by 12 February 2019, and final form by 4 April 2019.

Although the submission of 12 February 2019 will be ‘draft’, it should still represent a full account of the operational plan at that date.  

There are no templates for the narrative element of operational plans, Annex C of the technical guidance (published 11 January 2019) sets out what the narrative needs to demonstrate.

Technical guidance

The technical guidance for NHS planning 2019/20 includes Annex C guidance to trusts for operational plans. The finance, activity and workforce planning templates and guidance will also be available through the trust portal, and in the documents in the supplementary technical guidance section below.

Supplementary technical guidance for NHS trusts and foundation trusts

Provider Sustainability Fund, Financial Recovery Fund, Marginal Rate Emergency Tariff and financial control totals

Full details will be published separately via Annex G of the technical guidance in due course.

Trust portal and submissions

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