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Publication, Part of

Acute Patient Level Activity and Costing, 2018-19

Experimental statistics, Other reports and statistics

How the data was collected

Data collection

This analysis uses the Patient Level Information and Costing System (PLICS) Acute data for 2018-19 collected between June and October 2019 by NHS Digital. This data was collected in compliance with a mandatory request from NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Submission of PLICS Acute data for activity in 2018-19 was mandated by NHS England and NHS Improvement for the NHS providers of acute services listed in the mandatory request.

Admitted patient care (APC), outpatient attendances and procedures and A&E attendances were within scope of the PLICS Acute collection for 2018-19, subject to certain exclusions.  Full details of the services in and out of scope are available in the National Cost Collection guidance published by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

For APC episodes that spanned the start or end of the period (started in a prior financial year, or had not ended by 31 March 2019), costs relating to the bed days that fell within the financial year were included.

Non-NHS providers and NHS providers in other sectors that provide acute services were not within the scope of this collection.

Providers generated their PLICS Acute data extract using the costing data held on their local PLICS systems, in accordance with the Information Standard.

For each activity such as an APC episode, the data submitted included an activity record (with identifiers to permit linkage to other data sets) and costs relating to that activity, split by a specified list of collection activities (such as ward care, pharmacy) and collection resources (such as doctors or nurses).

Providers used a tool published by NHS England and NHS Improvement to convert their data extract into files in the required format for submission, before uploading their PLICS Acute submissions to a secure NHS Digital portal between 24 June and 30 August 2019. Resubmissions could be made within this period, and the most recent submission for each provider was retained.

Data validation

The NHS England and NHS Improvement conversion tool required all data items to be in the correct format and all mandatory fields to be populated to generate the files for submission. The tool also generated warnings for potentially incorrect data such as negative cost episodes for providers to review and improve data quality.

NHS England and NHS Improvement reviewed summary data (from the PLICS Acute collection and from other sources) during and immediately after the collection window, to identify potential data quality issues. Where data quality concerns were identified, providers were invited to make a resubmission of their PLICS Acute data between 14 October and 25 October 2019.

Data processing

The latest submission from each provider was retained.

The set of latest submissions has been linked to Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data for 2018-19 (the Linkage to Hospital Episode Statistics section provides further details).

Dissemination to NHS England and NHS Improvement

The PLICS Acute data for 2018-19 was pseudonymised and released to NHS England and NHS Improvement. This data will be used in the National Cost Collection outputs, the PLICS Portal for submitting NHS providers, and other tools and analysis.

Last edited: 29 January 2020 2:16 pm