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Publication, Part of

Acute Patient Level Activity and Costing, 2019-20

Experimental statistics, Other reports and statistics

Current Chapter

Acute Patient Level Activity and Costing, 2019-20


This report presents analysis of costing data for accident and emergency (A&E), admitted patient care (APC) and outpatient (OP) activity in 2019-20 submitted to the Patient Level Information and Costing System (PLICS) data collection by acute NHS providers in England.

The PLICS Acute data collection is part of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Costing Transformation Programme (CTP). The CTP aims to improve the quality of costing information in the NHS, and support providers to improve the efficiency of their services.

This report includes analysis of costing data linked to activity reported in Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), demonstrating the opportunities for richer analysis of costing data using the linked data.

These statistics are classified as experimental and should be used with caution.

For costing purposes, some activity is ‘unbundled’ and the costs identified separately from the costs for the ‘core’ activity. This report includes analysis of ‘core’ costs only.

Some initial analysis of ‘unbundled’ costs collected for 2019-20 is published alongside this report as management information.

The data from the 2019-20 PLICS Acute collection is used by NHS England and NHS Improvement in the National Cost Collection (NCC) publication. Information on how analysis in this report may differ from the NCC published analysis is included in the section ‘Relationship to NHS England and NHS Improvement’s National Cost Collection outputs’.

137 providers reported a total cost of £44.2 billion relating to 18.1 million A&E attendances, 17.8 million APC episodes and 76.8 million OP appointments.

Acute setting 

Total reported cost 

Percentage of total reported cost 

Accident and emergency 



Admitted patient care 







The total cost includes core costs only - unbundled costs linked to these core activities are not included.

(Following data quality checks by NHS England and NHS Improvement, a small number of submissions were excluded from the data used for this report. Details are included in the coverage section of the data quality statement.) 

The Covid-19 pandemic began to affect levels of NHS activity during the last few weeks of the financial year 2019-20. This may affect both activity counts and costs included in this report, although the impact is likely to be limited as the majority of the reporting period was not affected by the pandemic.


Last edited: 10 February 2021 3:24 pm