Costing skills in the NHS
Healthcare Costing for Value Institute
25 June 2018
Costing has a major role to play in supporting the delivery of high quality sustainable services across the NHS. NHS organisations need robust and detailed cost data to support them to meet the major financial challenges they face.
NHS Improvement’s Costing Transformation Programme (CTP) is intended to deliver significant improvements to the quality of costing information in the NHS, with patient-level costing in place across all NHS providers by 2020.
The implementation and use of Patient-Level Information and Costing Systems (PLICS) is anticipated to be a challenge for many NHS trusts. In addition, there needs to be a new focus on the engagement of clinicians and operational managers to ensure costing and activity data is used to drive improvements in patient care.
Although there is a cost associated with implementing PLICS, NHS Improvement’s assessment indicates that the cost is more than recouped by the benefits of PLICS data at an individual trust level.
The Healthcare Costing for Value Institute surveyed costing practitioners working in its membership trusts to gauge whether there is the capability and capacity within the NHS to deliver the requirements of the CTP, as well as promote the use of cost data. These survey results, together with information gathered from interviews with senior finance leaders, costing system suppliers, and NHS Improvement, has provided a useful insight into the ability of the NHS finance profession to deliver the changes needed for this costing revolution.