NHS providers: shared planning guidance for 2016/17 to 2020/21

Planning guidance for the NHS from England's leading national health and care bodies. It replaces Monitor's APR guidance from previous years (also known as ‘annual plan review’ guidance).

From 1 April 2016, Monitor is part of NHS Improvement. This guidance has been superseded by an updated guide on NHS Improvement’s website.

Delivering the Forward View: a background to the guidance

The leading national health and care bodies in England have come together to publish shared planning guidance for the NHS, setting out the steps to help local organisations deliver a sustainable, transformed health service and improve the quality of care, wellbeing and NHS finances.

It is published by NHS England, NHS Improvement (the new body which will bring together Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA)), the Care Quality Commission, Public Health England, Health Education England and NICE – the bodies which developed the Five Year Forward View (5YFV) in October 2014.

The planning guidance is backed up by £560 billion of NHS funding, including a new sustainability and transformation fund which will support financial balance and the delivery of the 5YFV, and also enable new investment in key priorities.

As part of the planning process, all NHS organisations are asked to produce 2 separate but interconnected plans:

  • a local health and care system sustainability and transformation plan (see NHS England’s guidance for further information on purpose, a support package and key dates), which will cover the period October 2016 to March 2021
  • a plan by organisation for 2016/17 - this will need to reflect the emerging sustainability and transformation plan

Monitor has also produced research on defining the boundaries of local health and care systems which may be useful to clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts and foundation trusts, local authorities, other key partners and arm’s length bodies when they agree their planning or transformation footprints.

NHS shared planning guidance

Delivering the Forward View: NHS Shared Planning Guidance 2016/17 – 2020/21

Technical guidance for 2016/17

Delivering the Forward View: technical guidance for 2016/17

Supplementary technical guidance relevant for all NHS organisations

Supplementary technical guidance for commissioners

Supplementary technical guidance for NHS trusts and foundation trusts

Further guidance on the sustainability and transformation fund

Operational plan timetable

This table sets out the key milestones for the 2016/17 operational planning and contracting timetable.

Timetable item (applicable to all bodies unless specifically referenced) Due date
Submission of full draft 2016/17 operational plans 8 February (midday)
Contract tracker to be submitted 8 February, 22 February. Weekly from 7 March to 25 April
Submission of updated full draft plans (clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHS England only) 2 March
2016/17 NHS standard contract published March
National contract stock take: where contracts not signed and contract signature deadline of 31 March at risk, local decisions to enter mediation 23 March
Contract mediation 23 March to 22 April
Publish national tariff 23 March
National deadline for signing of contracts By 31 March
Budgets and final plans approved by boards of providers and commissioners By 31 March
Submission of final 2016/17 operational plans, aligned with contracts 11 April (midday)
Final contract signature date for avoiding arbitration 25 April (midday)
Submission of arbitration paperwork (or letter of explanation) where contracts not signed 25 April (midday)
Contract arbitration panels and / or hearings 26 April to 10 May
Arbitration outcomes notified to commissioners and providers Within 2 working days after panel date
Contract and schedule revisions reflecting arbitration findings completed and signed by both parties By 13 May

Please refer to Technical Annex 1 for the detailed submission schedules relating to the ‘provider/commissioner’ submissions for activity and the contract tracker.

Key deadlines and submission dates for the 2016/17 operational planning and contracting timetable

Requirement Deadlines (all midday) Template How to submit
Baseline agreement checkpoint - provider / commissioner 18 January Template has been issued via the portal Through online foundation trust (FT) portal
Contract tracker – provider / commissioner 8 February, 22 February. Weekly from 7 March to 25 April Provider template accessed via Unify Via a provider return on Unify
One-year plan summary Draft, 8 February: Final, 11 April Format is described in NHS Improvement’s forthcoming guidance on provider plans Through online FT portal
Financial plan; Workforce plan; Activity plan - by organisation Draft, 8 February: Final, 11 April APR template accessed via the portal Through online FT portal
Activity plan - provider / commissioner Draft, 8 February: Final, 11 April Provider template accessed via Unify Via a provider return on Unify

Developing sustainability and transformation plans

The timetable for the completing place-based sustainability and transformation plans is now available.

Self-certification templates: foundation trusts only

The following annual self-certification templates must be submitted to Monitor by the dates below.

Published 22 December 2015
Last updated 27 May 2016 + show all updates
  1. We've updated the self-certification templates.
  2. Updated the self certification templates
  3. Added self-certification templates for foundation trusts, information on sustainability and transformation plans and updated some key dates in the operational plan timetable.
  4. Further guidance on the sustainability and transformation fund added.
  5. Updated with a link to NHS England's guidance on the sustainability and transformation plan.
  6. The technical guidance and supporting annexes have now been published.
  7. First published.