Supporting quality care with patient-level costing

Advanced certificate - optional module
20 credits, total study time: 200 hours (17 weeks)

In a rapidly changing NHS, this module gives an understanding of costing fundamentals and the importance of costing in healthcare. This is key to recognising how clinical decisions affect the consumption of resources used to treat patients. Costing has a major role to play in identifying variation in health services, in particular when linked to outcomes and quality improvement initiatives. In the current financial context, the NHS must do things differently – this means clinical and financial staff working increasingly closely, finding new ways of delivering care and delivering the best possible value for the taxpayer. This module will help learners to understand how costing works in the NHS and the challenge of capturing complex data to facilitate accurate costing. They will explore how NHS organisations and local health economies can use costing data as operational intelligence, and link it with outcomes, to support evidence-based decision making.  It will also provide insight into what needs to change and the barriers to making that happen.

Topics covered

  • Costing fundamentals and the importance of costing in healthcare
  • Principals of data
  • Activity data
  • Working with others in the production and use of costing data
  • Patient-level costing (PLICS)
  • Using cost data as operational intelligence in healthcare - overview
  • Linking costs and outcomes
  • Using costing data as operational intelligence in healthcare – organisational/ service/ patient level
  • Using costing data as operational intelligence in healthcare – wider health economy
  • Harnessing the power of clinical and financial collaboration
Learning outcomes
  • Analyse the role of cost data in the delivery of effective healthcare
  • Evaluate the quality of data used in the costing process
  • Evaluate the importance of linking costs and outcomes
  • Critique the technical and organisational challenges associated with implementing patient-level costing
  • Critique how costing data is used within your trust
  • Identify effective engagement techniques with key stakeholders to the costing process
  • Identify how best to communicate costing data within your organisation, as well as the wider health economy



  • Learners will complete a 4,000 word portfolio based assessment, including a case study and essay questions

Making finance work in the NHS
Core module


Personal effectiveness and leadership
Optional module


Managing the healthcare business
Optional module


Comparative healthcare systems
Optional module

Back to top