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

2019 Approved Costing Guidance published

We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2019 Approved Costing Guidance. This includes updated standards and national cost collections guidance.

Mandating patient-level costs for mental health activity

On 12 February 2019, following consultation with the sector, we have mandated the proposal to collect patient-level costs for mental health activity from 2019/20 financial year. This is part of the costing mandation project.


Upcoming webinars: All sessions take place 12.30-13.30pm

  • 24 April: Update on the Cost Ledger Automapper tool - registration opens soon

Previous webinars

  • 27 February: Approved Costing Guidance launch. Click here to view
  • 15 January 2019: PLICS in mental health, community and integrated trusts. Click here to view
  • 4 December: Costing in 2019: consultations on collections (all sectors) and standards for ambulance and mental health. Click here to view
  • 21 November: Costing Assessment Tool. Click here to view
  • 8 November: Costing in 2019:  Timetable, scope and consultation on integrated standard. Click here to view
  • 17 October: Costing collections: data outputs and updates on pilots. Click here to view
  • 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 2018: 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.

Keep in touch

Costing 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.

Find us on Twitter

Several members of the Costing Team are active on Twitter - use the hashtag #ImprovingCosting to find the latest messages from them and other costing professionals.

Contact us

Please email any questions, feedback or suggestions to

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