Skip Navigation
Search site
The national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Data Set

This page provides information and implementation guidance for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Secondary Uses Data Set.

Delay to CAMHS 'Go Live'

On 11th July, HSCIC obtained high level agreement from NHS England to fund the infra-structure required for the Maternity and Children's Data Set, which includes the CAMHS data set, as well as Maternity and Child Health data sets. Due to the extended delay in flowing the CAMHS Data Set we are considering various options with NHS England and the Department of Health. One option is not to implement CAMHS v1.0, but to incorporate CYP IAPT into the next version which would be mandated for flow before the end of the CYP IAPT pilot in 2015. We will communicate revised arrangements for the flow of CAMHS data, including timescales, through this webpage and the Mental Health Information Update as soon as the information becomes available.

What data will be collected?

The CAMHS Secondary Uses Data Set sets out national definitions for the extraction of data in relation to:

  • demographics
  • background
  • family history
  • targeted needs
  • referrals to CAMH services
  • encounters
  • care planning
  • interventions
  • outcome measures
  • inpatient stays
  • presenting problems and diagnoses

The CAMHS Secondary Uses Data Set has received full approval from the Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care (ISB) (external) as an information standard for the NHS in England. The Information Standards Notice (ISN) to mandate local implementation of the standard was published in May 2012 (ISB 1072) and updated in December 2012 (Amd 30/2012) (external).   

For an update regarding the CAMHS submission timetable, and guidance around CAMHS v1 submissions and pilot submissions to the Children and Young People's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) v3 data set, see the pdf icon CAMHS Data Set Update [28kb].

Who should implement this data set?

Providers of NHS-funded child and adolescent mental health services.

Are you a CAMH Service provider?

If your service provides NHS funded Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services you should be preparing to collect and submit the CAMHS Data set. Providers not currently on the HSCIC CAMHS contact list can add their service to the list by emailing the following details to the HSCIC Enquiries mailbox ( with FAO: CAMHS in the title:

  • Provider Name, Organisation Code, System & System supplier details and CAMHS submission contact details, including email and telephone numbers.

How do I implement the data set?

The documents below are designed to assist in implementing the data set. We will also be holding User Groups on a regular basis. These will be advertised via the website and our mailing lists. Providers should be in the process of discussing the CAMHS data set with their system suppliers to make sure that any required upgrades will be made in accordance with the timescales in the Information Standards Notice. If necessary, you should also be making any business change to data collection processes to ensure that all data items are recorded and can be extracted.

When do I need to implement the data set?

The following table summarises the implementation requirements. The data set is mandated from 1st April 2013 and the dates for the first submission window are awaiting confirmation. Providers will be informed of the new dates via CAMHS update emails and this webpage.

Implementation Dates


Services SHOULD start data collection on paper records or electronic systems where capable from 1st April 2013


Services and IT systems MUST conform to standards and meet the specifications as set out in the mandate and guidance by 1st April 2013


Services and IT Systems MUST be able to capture information that meets the standards from 1st April 2013 and extract data to enable electronic file submissions when the window opens. Precisely what backdated data requires submission will be confirmed prior to the window opening.

Submission Cycle

Services MUST be able to compile electronic file submissions in accordance to the standards set out in the Technical Guidance and make monthly submissions as set out in the mandate.

Submission timetable

Whilst providers are still mandated to collect CAMHS data from 1st April 2013 and will be expected to flow it in due course, the Bureau Service Portal was unable to receive data from May 2013 as expected. Please see Delay to CAMHS 'Go Live' above for further information about the delay.

The submission window will usually open on a Monday and close on a Friday. Where window opening and closing days fall on a public/bank holiday, the next working day has been used. When the window is closed no further submissions can be made, but you can still view the results of earlier submissions.

A period of approximately two months will exist for each submission to be undertaken and users will be able to select the month for which they are submitting data. No concept exists of primary and refresh submissions, as per MHMDS and IAPT datasets. Instead during the approximate two month submission window as many submissions as are needed can be undertaken. Once the window closes the 'last good file' present will be made available for national analysis and reporting.

Useful documents:

These documents will help you prepare to implement the data set:

CAMHS Data Set Specification: This document precisely defines the information standard, 'what it is' and 'how it should be implemented'. It is the formal definition of the standard.

xls icon CAMHS data set technical output specification [326kb]: This is the approved data set for implementation. It fully defines the data items that are in scope for submission.

pdf icon (Draft) CAMHS data set user Guidance v1.3 [806kb]: This describes how the information standard should be interpreted by service providers, IT system suppliers and other stakeholders. It helps users understand the scope of the standard and how it should be implemented locally.

Please note: This document will remain in draft form. This will enable us to address issues in a timely way through updates to the document.

pdf icon CAMHS Data Set Technical Guidance [539kb]: This describes the data submission framework; how service providers should create and submit a data submission file.

pdf icon CAMHS_Dataset_Model [20kb] Shows the structure of the dataset and the inter linkages between the different data tables.

xls icon CAMHS Data Set Validation Reporting Specification [126kb]: This describes the validation reporting which is designed to highlight issues that suggest incomplete or poor data.

CAMHS Intermediate Database (IDB): The IDB is a Microsoft Access database which is used to submit the dataset. Please request this via specifying that you require the CAMHS IDB.

xls icon System Conformance Checklist [171kb]: This is a worksheet tool for service providers to assess how well their local IT systems 'map' to the data set specification.

word icon CAMHS Implementation Planning Template [367kb]: You can use this planning template to plan your organisation's activity for implementing the CAMHS dataset. The resulting plan should give a high level picture of how your organisation intends to tackle this implementation within the anticipated timescales.

word icon CAMHS Readiness Assessment Tool [206kb]: You can use this readiness assessment tool to measure your organisation's CAMHS dataset Implementation progress. This spans a baseline assessment, regular reviews and a final review to report successful implementation.

pdf icon CAMHS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) [443kb]: An FAQ document to help providers further understand the data set submission process by providing guidance for frequently asked questions.

Close iCM Form