A summary of NHS operational planning and contracting guidance 2020/21

Sarah Day and Lisa Robertson

31 January 2020


The NHS operational and contracting guidance 2020/21  (the guidance) is integral to the delivery of The NHS long term plan  (summarised for members by the HFMA ), setting out how the long-term revenue settlement will be invested to transform services and achieve proposed outcomes by 2023/24.

The areas of focus for 2020/21 include access to care; primary and community services; prevention; mental health; learning disability and autism; and environmental impact. The deliverables need to be achieved within agreed financial trajectories that deliver productivity and efficiency improvements and reduce unwarranted variation.

The guidance introduces the ‘system by default’ concept emphasising the critical role of systems. It provides guidance on workforce and financial arrangements for 2020/21, as well as the need to embrace the opportunities offered by technology. Further details will be set out in the national implementation plan and the people plan in the coming months.

This briefing provides a summary for NHS finance professionals of the 2020/21 planning guidance and highlights expected further guidance.

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A summary of NHS operational planning and contracting guidance 2020/21

January 2020 (PDF 213KB)

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