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 This guidance has been superseded by an updated guide on NHS Improvement’s website.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
Technical guidance for 2016/17
Supplementary technical guidance relevant for all NHS organisations
- Annex 1: Activity plan, contract tracker and system resilience group (SRG) operational resilience template guidance
Supplementary technical guidance for commissioners
- Annex 2: NHS England guidance on commissioner operational plans
- Annex 3: Guidance for completion of commissioner finance templates
- Annex 4: Better care fund planning requirements
Supplementary technical guidance for NHS trusts and foundation trusts
- Annex 7: Guidance for completion of NHS trust finance templates
- Annex 8: Workforce guidance for NHS 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.
- is due 31 May 2016
- is due 30 June 2016