Transforming patient-level costing in the NHS


Our costing transformation programme will improve the quality of costing information in the NHS, with patient-level costing (PLICS) and a single annual cost collection. This will support providers to deliver better, more efficient outcomes.

We're working with providers to implement patient-level costing across the NHS. Resources, outputs and tools from cost collections – both PLICS and reference costs – to support you to use cost data are available in Using costing information to support better outcomes

Latest news from the programme

Approved Costing Guidance 2018

We are have now published the Approved Costing Guidance for 2018

The guidance forms a co-ordinated approach to patient-level costing, the reference costs collection and the reference costs assurance programme. It includes:

Sign up for our national sector forums

We are holding four national sector forums in partnership with HFMA. These events will look at the changing role of costing and share learning between organisations.

The forums are primarily aimed at directors of finance and transformation. However, clinical and operational leads who use patient-level costing information in their work are also welcome.

Find out more and book your place.

Consulation on mandating patient-level costing has now closed

On 25 January 2018, NHS Improvement’s Board approved the proposal, that in line with the Healthcare costing standards for England, from 2018/19 onwards it will be mandatory for designated NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts to record and report costs at a patient level for acute activity. 

Our aim

By 2020, we'll deliver cost information that more accurately reflects a patient's treatment and is produced consistently across all licensed healthcare providers. Understanding the cost of patient care will help providers to improve the efficiency of their services.

About the programme

To support the sustainable delivery of high quality patient care as outlined in the Five Year Forward View, providers need to fully understand their current models of care and what the impact would be of moving to a new way of delivering services.

Cost is an important factor in evaluating how effectively and efficiently you're delivering care to patients. Having accurate, consistent, patient-level cost information will help you to:

  • make the best possible use of resources
  • evaluate clinical practice
  • compare different ways of working
We previously consulted on our proposals to improve the costing of NHS services. The response was supportive of the move to patient-level costing with a single cost collections across all care settings.

Sign up for our newsletter

Keep up to date with costing news by signing up to receive our costing newsletter. You can also find out where we’ll be speaking in the events section of the newsletter. Email to be added to our distribution list.

Contact us

Please email any questions, feedback or suggestions to

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