On the day briefing: Operational planning and contracting guidance 2019/20
NHS England (NHSE) and NHS Improvement (NHSI) published the second part of the 2019/20 operational planning and contracting guidance on Thursday 10 January 2019. This overarching guidance covers the new financial framework (including the new Financial Recovery Fund), new operational planning requirements, and further detail on system planning and national tariff proposals.
- A new financial framework is being introduced to the provider sector, with the aim of eliminating all trust deficits by 2023/24. Central to this is a new financial recovery fund (FRF) that will be targeted at trusts that agree control totals, deliver efficiencies but still record a deficit. The new financial regime will phase out the control total and provider sustainability fund (PSF) regime, which will be brought to an end in 2020/21.
- Trusts and systems will be expected to produce recovery plans during 2019/20 and beyond. Not much detail is provided on these plans but further guidance is expected. It is likely that capital plans drawn up by sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and integrated care systems (ICSs) will play an important role in these.
- NHSI and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) are reviewing the cash and capital regimes for providers. More detail is expected in the comprehensive spending review, likely in autumn 2019.
- Further detail is provided on system planning. STPs and ICSs will be expected to provide an overview of how system resources will be utilised, in addition to submitting aggregated data sets based on each member’s plans.
- There are a number of new commitments around mental health spending. In addition to meeting the mental health investment standard (MHIS) requirements, commissioners will be expected to increase the share of their total mental health spend that is spent on mental health providers. NHS England will also look at mental health spend per head for each CCG.
- The guidance does not include performance recovery trajectories, but makes clear that the existing NHS Constitution standards remain in force.