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

Consultation on mandating patient-level costing in the ambulance sector

The consultation on mandating patient-level costing in the ambulance sector from 2019/20 is open until 1 October 2018.

Approved Costing Guidance 2018 - community and education and training standards now available

We have published costing standards for community services and for education and training costs as part of the Approved Costing Guidance for 2018. Standards for acute, mental health and ambulance services had already been published.

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


Upcoming webinars

All webinars will take place 12.30-13.30, so save the date!

Recent webinars

  • 15 August: 2017/18 cost collections: resubmissions and data quality. Click here to view
  • 20 June: Education and training standards. Click here to view
  • 20 June: Costing community services: PLICS guidance. Click here to view
  • 12 June: Acute cost collections - reference costs and PLICS. Click here to view
  • 16 May: 'Talk to an early implementer' - mental health implementation and collection: building readiness. Click here to view
  • 3 May: 'Talk to an early implementer' - acute implementation and collections: building readiness. Click here to view
  • 21 March: Mental health and ambulance: Approved Costing Guidance and early implementer support explained. Click here to view
  • 21 February: Approved Costing Guidance: publication and implementation support. Click here to view

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.

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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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