NHS England update on planning for 2024/25 reinforces key requirements

NHS England has written to trusts, ICBs, and regional directors, outlining updates on planning for 2024/25. The letter states that although expectations and priorities for 2024/25 will not be published until the new year; “initial planning returns will be expected by the end of February” from providers.

The letter also highlights that the priorities and objectives set out by the 2023/24 planning guidance and the published recovery plans on urgent and emergency care, primary care access, and elective and cancer care “will not fundamentally change”. Key requirements will remain increasing core UEC  capacity, completing agreed investment plans for diagnostic and elective activity, and maximising “the gain from the investment in primary care in improving access for patients”.

On digital and data, the guidance indicates that steps should be taken to “increase digital maturity and ensure a core level of infrastructure, digitisation and skills”. Actions to be taken in this area should “contribute to meeting the ambition of a digitised, interoperable and connected health and care system as a key enabler to deliver more effective, integrated care”, potentially including reducing digital inequality and supporting net zero objectives.

To read the letter and its accompanying documents in full, please click here.

At the beginning of December, NHS England published a strategic framework for the NHS commercial sector, outlining objectives and ambitions for the next five years across four key themes: our people, digital and transparency, how we work, and influence and scale.

Also on news from NHS England, the board met on 5 of December to discuss operational and financial performance, to provide an update on the Federated Data Platform, and the role of tech in the delivery of the primary care access recovery plan.