Programme Budgeting

NHS England is committed to giving commissioners practical support in gathering data, evidence and tools to help them transform the way care is delivered for their patients and populations.

The principles of programme budgeting directly support this commitment, promoting clinically led commissioning and patient involvement by providing financial information across disease areas, also known as ‘programme categories’. The programme budgeting collection provides a framework for estimating NHS expenditure across these programmes categories covering the whole care pathway.

Definitions of programme categories and care settings

The main purpose of the data is to provide benchmarking information enabling NHS organisations to make evidence based investment and prioritisation decisions. Commissioners, and those who support them (CSUs) may wish to incorporate this into their strategic planning work.

The programme budgeting framework has formed the basis for the recently published Commissioning for value packs.

The latest programme budgeting data is available for 2012-13, in the form of an interactive benchmarking tool enabling commissioners to compare their expenditure with other commissioners across the programmes and care settings.  Aggregate data is also available, summarising expenditure across the 23 categories since 2003/04.

Programme budgeting data for previous years is also available.

CCG Level programme budgeting data development

NHS England are looking for CCGs and CSUs to help develop programme budgeting by identifying improvements in guidance and processes for the 2013/14 collection and in future years.

This work could range from working with the programme budgeting team to produce provisional data as a pilot organisation for 2013/14 to providing input and guidance on specific elements of development. The majority of this work will take place between now and April but we would also like to hear from organisations wishing to work on longer term developments. If you are interested in being involved in this work please get in touch with the team at

Calculating Programme Budgeting data

Published on 31 July 2013 the programme budgeting guidance was aimed at supporting commissioners and NHS providers in completing their data return, the 2012-13 guidance document and supporting mapping document outlines the approach for calculating programme budgeting data.

For programme budgeting data to be most effective, it is essential that all commissioners calculate programme budgeting data using the same principles. By doing so, commissioners can have greater confidence that differences in health expenditure when compared to another commissioner are not caused by different approaches to calculating programme budgeting data.

If you have any queries relating to the programme budgeting data or future developments, please contact the programme budgeting at