This article augments the literature on the British experience of planning by examining attempts to plan the hospital system between 1962 and 1977. The Hospital Plan for England and Wales of 1962 proposed the construction of a suite of new ‘District General Hospitals’. Underpinning this proposal was a belief in the value of standardized designs and construction methods, both of which were subsequently investigated in detail by the Ministry of Health and the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS). The history of this project reveals the challenges of putting centralized planning into practice. Yet while the standardization programme was scaled back in 1975, the article suggests that the drive to ‘plan’ modern Britain perhaps lasted longer than might initially be thought, into the 1980s, with implications for the way that the broader history of this period is framed.