Directly commissioned services reporting requirements

The four contract monitoring (ACM), patient level contract monitoring (PLCM), drugs patient level contract monitoring (DrPLCM) and devices patient level contract monitoring (DePLCM) are the file formats by which providers must report their healthcare activities commissioned by NHS England.

The purpose of these standards is to enable the interchange, in a uniform format, of monthly contract monitoring data between commissioners and providers of healthcare. This ensures that contract monitoring and reporting is consistent and comparable across all commissioning organisations and their footprints.

Specifications for these, including user guidance can be found on the NHS Digital website in the Information standards and data collections section under contract monitoring. The user guidance document for each provides instructions to users with regards to their population and submission.

National consultation on the proposed changes to the four contract monitoring data will be held during 2024. A revised timeline, made necessary by the recent general election, is shown below.

Date Action(s)
Apr-Jun 2024
Suggestions considered by a multi-disciplinary working party comprising representation from suitable relevant stakeholders. Suggested changes considered by the group as essential or of merit will go forward to consultation.
Jul-Sep 2024
National consultation for a period of 28 days.

Analysis of the consultation. Final list of amendments based on the degree of support for each change.

Changes to specifications developed in conjunction with the NHS Data Model and Dictionary team.

Oct-Dec 2024
Revised specifications published for their implementation in April 2025 for reporting of activity relating to 2025/26 financial year.

Further supplementary information and reporting requirements relating to directly commissioned services can be found in the NHS England directly commissioned services 2023/24 schedule 6 detailed requirements (acute) document or the directly commissioned services 2023/24 schedule 6 detailed requirements (mental health) document. These documents should be used in conjunction with the contractual schedule 6 for directly commissioned services.

Information standards for contract monitoring

Specifications and user guidance for all four monthly contract monitoring information standards can be found on the legacy NHS Digital website.

Other reporting specifications

Specialised acute services:

Specialised mental health services:

Other reference material