Patient Level Costing Information Systems (PLICS) Mandatory Collections continued implementation

Closed 28 Apr 2021

Opened 29 Mar 2021

Feedback updated 6 Jul 2021

We asked

We consulted on the continued implementation of Patient Level Costing Information Systems (PLICS) Mandatory Collections and the changes planned for the collections due to commence in autumn 2021.      

You said

40 responses were received to the consultation. 

Respondents were asked to select the option which best described the services their Trust had provided during the financial year 2020-2021.

The table below provides a summary of the responses provided:

Services provided

Number of responses



Mental Health






Acute and Mental Health


Mental Health and IAPT


Acute and IAPT


3 or more services out of (Acute, Mental Health, IAPT, Ambulance)



The overwhelming majority of respondents to the consultation provided information on how their PLICS data collection would be undertaken, including aspects such as the staff, processes, IT systems and data flows involved. 

The responses received highlighted in the main, that the collection would be a significant exercise for Trusts with a number of surrounding processes, dependencies on IT systems and staff involved. 

A significant minority of the responses highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as an issue with the collection, with the main concerns summarised as:

  • Challenges with allocation of COVID-19 costs/costing requirements.
  • The impact on data quality.
  • Reduced availability of/re-deployment of staff.
  • Concerns regarding inconsistencies in recording of data/costs, as a result of running services differently or changes in operational arrangements.
  • Difficulties in getting input from other teams and/or lack of access to/impact on informatics teams.

Some respondents raised other concerns, (where COVID was not cited) including:

Trusts undergoing a system migration/upgrade

Lack of face to face support

Informatics team availability

Availability and quality of patient data/data feeds

Keeping up to date with the guidance

Limited time between collections

Reconciliation of PLICS and activity data

Timeliness of documentation/data requirements from NHSI

Concerns over data quality of submissions

Timely availability of Trusts getting their data outputs

Difference in costing requirements vs existing Adult Critical Care data flows

A significant majority of respondents highlighted expected benefits of PLICS.  However, there were concerns from a number of respondents, that the benefits of FY20/21 data would be limited or of no benefit, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and extent of its comparability to other year’s data.

Some respondents highlighted that the collection may provide some insight into/provide an indication of costs associated with the pandemic.

The vast majority of respondents provided information on the time involved in preparing for the collection, which demonstrated a range of timings for these processes across Trusts.  The responses highlighted that the overall process may take a number of months, and in some cases 6 months or more.

Respondents also provided information on the additional training requirements and expected additional costs associated with the collection.

Some respondents raised other concerns or suggestions, including:

Clearer process for benchmarking

Simplifying ledger mapping

Any move to more frequent cost collection needs to be consulted on and considered

The need for clear guidance and support which is relevant for the services concerned

The local cost implications of PLICS software

The need for tangible benefits to be fed back to practitioners

The need for timely publication of guidance, schemas and tools, along with sufficient lead time for changes

A clear future vision of information requirements

Availability of resource

The need for a period of stability to incorporate the changes over the last 3 years

Bring National Cost Collection closer to the Trust BAU

In addition, a number of responses were received relating to process clarifications or discrete queries by a particular Trust.

We did

We would like to thank everyone who responded.  Your feedback is valuable and important information which will be used to inform and support future work by NHS Digital on PLICS.  Responses relating to process clarifications or discrete queries will be raised with the relevant Trust.  This summary of the feedback is also being communicated to NHS England and NHS Improvement.

For further updates on PLICS at NHS Digital, please see the relevant section of the NHS Digital website.


NHS Digital's PLICS data collections support the NHS England and NHS Improvement Costing Transformation programme.

We, NHS Digital (formally known as HSCIC) have received a mandatory request from Monitor (known as NHS Improvement) under sections 255(1), and 256(2)(a) of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to continue to develop and operate systems for the collection and analysis of PLICS data from providers of acute, mental health, IAPT and ambulance services.

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, we must consult with:

  • representatives of persons from whom any information will be collected
  • representatives of other persons who we consider are likely to use the information to which the mandatory request relates.

This document sets out that consultation. 

Find out more information about the PLICS collections  

Why your views matter

Submission of PLICS data will be required from providers of acute, mental health, IAPT and ambulance services on an ongoing basis.

The data set due for collection in autumn 2021 is also planned to be revised.

Additional information for providers of acute, mental health and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services

The data planned to be collected in autumn 2021 is contained within Annex A; Section 1 of the Mandatory Request document and the Integrated Extract Specification.

Changes planned include:

  • the submission of PLICS data will cover more than main services.  Where services are provided as per Annex A, Section 1, trusts would be required to submit this PLICS data.
  • the data set specification for acute, mental health and IAPT providers is to be integrated.  The aim of this is to reduce the burden on costing practitioners in integrated trusts.  This means integrated trusts will only have to submit one reconciliation file for acute, mental health and IAPT services when submitting PLICS data to NHS Digital.
  • submission of paediatric admitted patient critical care and neonatal admitted patient critical care.
  • inclusion of the ‘PLEMI’ field in the mental health and IAPT data to be submitted.  This is to enable data linkage across PLICS data submitted by an organisation.
  • mental health providers would be required to submit the ‘Supplementary Information’ data.
  • transition from IAPT v1.5 to IAPT v2.0 technical output specification.

Additional information for providers of ambulance services

The data planned to be collected is contained within Annex A; Section 3 of the Mandatory Request document and the Ambulance extract specification


This consultation is aimed primarily at providers of acute, mental health, IAPT and ambulance services due to provide PLICS data, including the revised PLICS data set planned for collection from September 2021.

Other Information

This consultation may also be of interest to other stakeholders including potential users of the data.

Users are invited to complete the survey in the context of the above information.


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  • Finance Managers
  • 111/999 Call Handlers
  • Acute Foundation Trusts
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  • Ambulance Foundation Trusts
  • Mental Health Foundation Trusts
  • NHS England
  • Acute Care
  • Ambulance Services
  • Acute Non Foundation Trusts
  • Acute Foundation Trusts
  • Mental Health Non Foundation Trusts
  • Mental Health Foundation Trusts


  • Data Collections