National Cost Collection for the NHS

The National Cost Collection publication comprises aggregated costs (the average unit cost of providing defined services to NHS patients in England) and patient-level costs/PLICS (a cost based on the specific interactions a patient has, and the events related to their healthcare activity).


NHS providers submit costs annually. These costs are used to inform a number of work streams including the PLICS portal, the Model Hospital, the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme and national tariff prices. They are a key source of information about the cost of NHS services.

2019/20 National Cost Collection data

We have produced a short document of highlights and analysis and a guide to using the National Cost Collection data.

The cost data is then presented in four ways:

  • the national schedules of NHS costs
  • the National Cost Collection Index (NCCI)
  • the reconciliation statement
  • a database of source data

Introduction and data spreadsheets

2019/20 National Cost Collection data files

Cost data is held in large csv files and should be accessed using MS Access or other database software. Data at sub-national level is reported using NHS Digital’s Data Disclosure rules. Therefore where the activity count is less than 8 the actual figure has been replaced with a ‘*’. Users of the data will still be able to calculate a full national quantum of costs from the files published.

Archived reference costs

Please see the page 2018/19 National Cost Collection Data Publication for the data from the 2018/19 financial year and the page Archived Reference Costs to view the reference costs for the financial years 2017/18 and 2016/17, along with a link to earlier cost collections on the Department of Health website.

Help and support

If you have any queries on this project or costing in general please email to

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