On the day briefing: 2018/19 planning guidance
The 2018/19 planning guidance is a refresh of plans already prepared under the two-year NHS Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance 2017-2019. It sets out detail of how the additional funding from the November 2017 budget will be allocated and the developments in national policy with regards to system level collaboration.
Key headlines include:
- The A&E performance recovery trajectory has been pushed back one year. Trusts will be expected to meet 90% by September 2018, and return to 95% by March 2019.
- On the referral to treatment standard, the expectation is that the waiting list should not be any higher in March 2019 than in March 2018, alongside the expectation to halve the number of patients waiting 52 weeks in the same period.
- The Sustainability and Transformation Fund is to become the Provider Sustainability Fund (PSF), with total funding of £2.45bn (up from £1.8bn currently). Access to 30% of the fund remains linked to A&E performance. A new £400m commissioner sustainability fund (CSF) will also be introduced to enable CCGs to return to in-year financial balance.
- The eight shadow Accountable Care System sites and two devolved health and care systems are now to be known as Integrated Care Systems (ICS). ICSs are expected to prepare a single system operating plan and to work within a system control total. They are expected to move to a more ‘autonomous’ regulatory relationship with NHS England and NHS Improvement over time.
- The guidance states that there will be no additional winter funding in 2018/19. Systems are required to produce a winter demand and capacity plan with actions and proposed outcomes. Guidance on submitting these winter plans will be available by March 2018.
- The two-year National Tariff Payment system is unchanged, with local systems encouraged to consider local payment reform in certain areas.
- There is no new detail on how funding for the lifting of the pay cap will be administered. Trusts are urged, however, to ensure their workforce plans are robust as they will be used to inform pay modelling nationally.