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BMA briefing on NHS planning guidance 2019-20

In December 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement jointly published their planning guidance for providers and CCGS - Preparing for 2019/20 Operational Planning and Contracting.

This is a technical document that addresses high-level funding and structural frameworks, preparing the system for the introduction of the NHS Long Term Plan, which is due to be published in January 2019. This is the first part of the guidance; the full guidance will also be published in January and will include:

  • five-year indicative CCG allocations
  • the trust financial regime for 2019/20
  • service deliverables, including those arising from year one of the Long-Term Plan

Key points from the guidance: 

  • For 2019/20, every trust, foundation trust and CCG must agree organisation-level operational plans which combine to form a coherent system-level operating plan. This will provide the starting point for every STP and ICS (Integrated Care System) to develop five-year Long Term Plan implementation plans up to 2023/24.
  • The NHS is expected to deliver 1.1% “efficiency” savings this year and for each of the next five years.
  • STPS and ICSs must have a primary care strategy in place by April 2019, setting out how they will ensure the sustainability of primary care. These plans must include development of PCNs (primary care networks) and support for the development of an expanded multidisciplinary workforce.
  • CCGs are required to make a 20% real terms reduction against their 2017/18 running cost allocation in 2020/21.
  • CCGs must continue to increase investment in mental health services.
  • For 2019/20, providers should update their workforce plans to reflect the latest projections of supply and retention, taking into account the supply of staff from Europe and beyond and pay reforms and expected reductions in agency and locum use.

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