Group Accounting Manual 2018-19 Consultation

Closed 23 Feb 2018

Opened 22 Jan 2018


All bodies within the Department of Health and Social Care accounting boundary (DHSC group bodies) must publish annual reports and accounts.  Clear and transparent reporting helps the entity − as well as the users of the entity’s annual report and accounts − understand and scrutinise the year’s operations and outcomes.

The Department of Health and Social Care (and Monitor as the regulator for NHS foundation trusts, operating as NHS Improvement) has powers to direct the form in which the annual report and accounts should be prepared, the information that should be included, and the methods and principles that should be followed in their preparation.  In determining the form and content of the accounts we must, by statute, aim to ensure the accounts present a true and fair view.

In order to achieve this, the department issues a group wide annual report and accounting manual every year, the ‘Department of Health and Social Care Group Accounting Manual’ (GAM), containing the requirements DHSC group bodies need to follow when preparing their annual reports and accounts.  Additionally, NHS Improvement separately publishes the annual reporting requirements for NHS foundation trusts via the ‘NHS foundation trust annual reporting manual’ (FT ARM).  The FT ARM contains the formal accounts direction but foundation trusts will follow the GAM for accounts requirements.

Each year the department consults regarding proposed changes to the GAM for the next financial year, so that comments from DHSC group entities and their auditors on the proposed GAM can be taken into consideration in the publication of the finalised document.  As such this survey is for:

  • Finance professionals across the DHSC Group who operate to the guidance provided in the GAM
  • Sector leads who manage the application of the GAM
  • Audit teams who will assess the reporting of entities within the DHSC group
  • Professional bodies operating within the healthcare sector

There are significant changes to accounting requirements in 2018-19, as well as a significant change in approach regarding the measurement of discount rates for general provisions being introduced by HM Treasury.  Changes to the GAM are therefore focussed on providing clarity regarding the implications of these changes.

There are 16 questions in total, split between techncial GAM questions and basic preliminary and concluding questions.  The GAM specific questions, of which there are 10, are geared towards obtaining responses regarding the adequacy of the guidance offered in the Manual, as well as capturing any concerns that are raised by revised requirements.  These questions all cater for open responses to be provided and thus may take 30 minutes or longer to complete, dependent upon the detail provided.   Please note you can save and return to the survey at any time. 

Please find the full consultation document and 2018-19 Group Accounting Manual at this link on;

Why We Are Consulting

Your responses will help shape the 2018-19 GAM that is submitted to the Financial Reporting Advisory Board for approval and subsequently published early in the next financial year.

Information provided as part of your consultation response will be used for this purpose and no other.



  • Providers of NHS clinical services
  • Foundation Trusts
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Regulatory body
  • Academic/ Professional institution
  • DH staff


  • Accountability
  • Regulation