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 any proposed changes to the four contract monitoring data sets planned for late 2023 has been paused and a revised timeline is shown below. A result of this is that there will be no changes to the structure or format of the four specifications for the 2024/25 financial year.

Date Action(s)
1 January 2024 to 31 May 2024 Period of submission of suggested changes and/or developments to the four national standards Users may submit suggestions to
1 June 2024 to 30 June 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.
1 July 2024 to 29 July 2024 National consultation for a period of 28 days.
1 August 2024 to 31 August 2024 Write-up and analysis of the consultation. The finalised list of changes will be based on the degree of support by respondees for each change.
1 September 2024 to 29 September 2024 Changes to specifications developed in conjunction with colleagues within NHS Data Model and Dictionary team.
30 September 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