News / Costing window to open in October

16 August 2023 Steve Brown

The submission window will open on Monday 16 October and provide three working weeks where any organisation can submit its data – making multiple submissions if it wants. This will be followed by four days where trusts are required to make their final submission, if they haven’t done so already, with trusts in each region given a specified day. Following data quality checks, any trusts needing to resubmit will be asked to do so between 27 November and 1 December.Calculator

The confirmation of the submission window will be welcomed by costing practitioners, who will now be able to plan the work required for their national submission around their business-as-usual costing work and other activities.

The submission is much later than in previous years despite recognition that the publication of costing data needs to become much quicker if the data is to be as useful as possible. Last year’s collection window opened in the middle of July.

However, the national costing programme has been hit by significant delays this year, which NHS England first reported in January.  The sourcing of technical staff has been the key issue, with the merger between NHS England and NHS Digital, and the restrictions on recruitment as NHS England downsizes, contributing to the problems. In July it announced that it hoped to open the submission window in September, but later had to withdraw this date due to ‘contractors responsible for the technical pipeline asking for additional weeks to test and assure its operation’.

In a costing update this week, the NHS England costing team said that the September date ‘wouldn’t have given us the time to fully test and assure the new data validation engine’ It said that feedback from practitioners was that a fully tested and assured DVE (formerly known as the data validation tool) was essential.

The update said the team was confident that the extra weeks of testing would mean ‘we can deliver a product that will bring significant improvements compared to previous years’. Anyone interested in supporting the testing process should contact the national team via the costing inbox. The DVE will be demonstrated in a webinar at the end of August. Tickets can be reserved on the NHS England events page.