How providers can submit PLICS data
PLICS files are to be submitted via Secure Electronic File Transfer (SEFT) to NHS Digital.
Further information on Secure Electronic File Transfer.
You should ensure well in advance of submission that you are set up as a SEFT user to allow you to submit your PLICS files to NHS Digital. Before submitting your files, you should undertake a SEFT connectivity test to ensure you will be able to submit data without any issues.
Providers should ensure that data is submitted via SEFT well in advance of the submission window closing (see dates/times above) to allow time for all data transfers to complete and confirmation emails to be received with the status of file validation.
To take a connectivity test, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The format data should be submitted in
The PLICS files must be submitted to NHS Digital in XML format.
Please also note that submitted files must:
- be named as per the filename defined in the specifications
- contain the header message and populated as specified in the specification
- contain activity data as specified in the specifications
The format and structure of the XML files are detailed on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website in the Structure of XML files for submission to NHS Digital and Schema Base Elements (zip file).
How many PLICS files providers should submit
Each Trust needs to make a full submission, defined as 12 monthly files per Feed type for all required activity data and 1 Reconciliation file.
For example, if you are a Trust delivering Emergency Care and Adult Critical Care services, you should submit 61 PLICS files which all pass validation as below:
APC Feed type (12 monthly files to be provided)
OP Feed type (12 monthly files to be provided)
EC Feed type (12 monthly files to be provided)
SWC Feed type (12 monthly files to be provided)
SI Feed type (12 monthly files to be provided)
REC Feed type (1 file to be provided)
For further details please also see the NHS England and NHS Improvement Volume 3: National Cost Collection – acute sector.
For further details of the Feed types above, please see the Acute extract file specification on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website.
What happens if the files do not pass validation first time?
If a submitted file does not pass the validation checks first time at NHS Digital, then you can correct the issue(s) and submit the file again (subject to the submission window still being open).
For multiple submission attempts, NHS Digital will only use the last good file when processing data from your trust (the latest file submitted which passed validation).
Please note that this means this will overwrite any previously submitted data for that given file for the PLICS Acute collection taking place in 2020.
What notifications you will receive
You can expect to receive email notifications after submitting PLICS data to NHS Digital.
We will send an automated validation email, outlining the passed / failed validation status per file submitted, to provide timely feedback to data submitters.
In addition to the above, providers will also receive a daily status email, which will summarise the current submission status for your trust. This summary email is only issued the following day after a submission attempt (if you have submitted one or more PLICS files in the last 24 hours to NHS Digital).
Technical problems submitting data to NHS Digital
Please raise a service call with the NHS Digital National Service Desk: email@example.com
The National Service Desk will respond directly to your query or triage it to an appropriate team to respond. Please ensure you reference PLICS when raising your query to ensure there is minimal delay.
How NHS Digital file checks relate to the NHS England and NHS Improvement Data Validation Tool checks
If your files pass the mandatory validations in the NHS England and NHS Improvement Data Validation Tool, then they should also pass the file validation stage at NHS Digital.
Any queries on the NHS England and NHS Improvement Data Validation Tool should be directed to: costing@Improvement.nhs.uk.
Questions about the NHS England and NHS Improvement National Cost Collection guidance
All questions relating to the National Cost Collection guidance should continue to be sent to NHS Improvement: firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens with submitted PLICS data
Data from a trust’s costing system will be produced at a patient level and submitted to NHS Digital via SEFT. The PLICS files submitted are then validated at NHS Digital. Subject to successful validation, this data is then linked to Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data held by NHS Digital.
NHS Digital then pseudonymise the resultant linked data, before it is provided to NHS England and NHS Improvement via SEFT. NHS England and NHS Improvement will then use this PLICS data (see above for further information on what the Patient Level Information Costing Data Set is used for).
NHS Digital will publish analysis of the PLICS data linked to HES. NHS Digital may also link the PLICS data to other activity and outcome data and publish analysis. NHS Digital may make the data available to other organisations via the Data Access Request Service (DARS).
How data previously submitted has been used
Please see Acute Patient Level Activity and Costing.