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 review and feedback

The second tranche of draft Approved Costing Guidance (ACG) documentation is currently available on the Online Learning Platform (OLP). We have undertaken a review and feedback exercise to allow stakeholders the opportunity to express their views on the proposed costing standards, with regards to their practicality, achievability and implementation. The survey for the first tranche of documentation has now closed and the results are being reviewed. The survey for the second tranche is open until Friday 17 January.

All of the relevant documentation, and the link to the survey, can be found here.*

If you have any queries about the process, or need to have access granted to the documentation, please email us at the

Autumn 2019 Costing Regional Forums

Last autumn's Costing Regional Forums took place from Monday 23 to Friday 27 September. The five events, at venues across the country, brought together the NHS costing community to share good practice and explore how costing data is used in wider contexts to support strategic decision making. Slides from all of the presentations at the events can be found below.

If you have any queries regarding the Forums, please email

Costing Regional Forums Presentations September 2019 ZIP, 43.4 MB

Slides from the presentations at the Costing Regional Forums, 23-27 September 2019.

Buddying up initiative

Last year we launched a buddying up initiative for acute providers, which we then later extended to all sectors.

The purpose of the initiative is to give an opportunity for providers which have greater experience of submitting PLICS data to share their expertise with less experienced providers, and for the less experienced providers to learn from them in turn.

Those who are taking part have the opportunity to request 121 support or become part of a buddy group consisting of several providers (both experienced and less experienced/new implementers). We aim to match up trusts using the same costing software supplier.

Feedback from the initiative has been very positive, with comments including:

"From our perspective we found the initiative very helpful albeit in our particular circumstances we didn’t perhaps utilise the resource as much as some others could have done. Our anticipation though is to continue to work further with our ‘buddy’ over the coming months to benefit from their greater experience with the system. I would definitely recommend extending the scope to other sectors."

"As an “experienced” site we’ve always been happy to share informally through 121 requests and across our own networks. We view it as an important part of the learning process as not only did it get us up and running when we started we still use and rely on those networks today."

"I found it very useful, we contacted each other a few times and talked about our issues. Quite often Practitioners are working alone, having somebody to contact if you come across a problem helps no end."

Requests for registration in the intiative are currently closed, but will be re-opened later in 2020.


Details for webinars in 2020 will be published shortly.

Previous webinars

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.

Keep in touch

Costing newsletter

Keep up-to-date with costing news with our twice monthly costing newsletter. Email to be added to our distribution list.

Follow us on Twitter

The costing team has a non-official twitter account where you can find all our latest news and updates: follow us at @NHSCosting. In addition, you can use the hashtag #ImprovingCosting to find the latest messages from members of our costing team and other costing professionals.

Contact us

Please email any questions, feedback or suggestions to

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