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Community Information Data Set

What is the Community Information Data Set?

With a total yearly investment of more than £11 billion, Community Services make up 10 per cent of the NHS budget. Local and national comparative data can be used to improve Community Services by informing commissioning decisions and the management of services.

The Community Information Data Set (CIDS) is a patient level, output based, secondary uses data set which will deliver robust, comprehensive, nationally consistent and comparable person-based information on patients who are in contact with Community Services. As a secondary uses data set it intends to re-use clinical and operational data for purposes other than direct patient care. It defines the data items, definitions and associated value sets to be extracted or derived from local systems.

Please note that CIDS remains for local data collection and data extraction only. The central flow of this data set will be the subject of a future Information Standards Notice (ISN).

When do I need to implement the Community Information Data Set?

The ISN that will mandate the national submission of the revised CIDS data is now published on the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) web pages.The ISN will update CIDS in line with the Children and Young People's Health Services (CYPHS) data set so that the two share the same structure and data items.

This interim ISN will modify the local collection only as defined in the original ISN and will not mandate the central flow of CIDS data.

The central flow of adult community data is now unlikely to take place before 2016. The intention is that the CIDS Information Standard will be retired, and the scope of the CYPHS data set expanded to include adult data (hence the need to keep the data sets in step).

How do I implement the data set?

The CIDS data set defines an output standard; it does not represent a definitive list of data items and values which may need to be captured for care delivery, merely a subset to which local data should be mapped for local extraction and analysis purposes. Community care providers will have the flexibility to adopt any local data collection process and employ whichever IT system that is capable of extracting data in accordance with the output specification.

Once national submissions begin, the CIDS data set will be primarily submitted using an XML format. The XML schema has been developed along with a conversion tool, which will enable providers to load or copy their data into the provided table structure. Once complete, a routine can be run that will export the submission into the required XML format.

What do suppliers of community IT systems need to do?

Suppliers of community systems should ensure that systems are able to capture and/or derive the data items defined in the existing standard. Suppliers must also become fully compliant with the new standard once published.

What do providers of community services need to do?

Providers of community services should capture the revised information within the Community Information Data Set (CIDS) from the date specified in the interim ISN.

Data Quality

Information on data quality will be made available to providers once they begin to submit data nationally. We will make data available to other parties as soon as the data quality and coverage are sufficient to provide a robust national picture.


We have a number of tools and resources to help implement the CIDS in your organisation. However, as the structure of CIDS is aligned with the CYPHS data set, much of this information can be found on the CYPHS web pages.

Organisational assessment and planning tools

An Implementation Planning Template, Readiness Assessment Tool and Conformance Checklist are all available on the CYPHS web pages. These documents will assist in planning your organisation's activity for implementing the data set and measuring your organisation's implementation progress.

Guidance documents

The User Guidance 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 that this document is currently in draft form and is subject to future updates to allow us to address any issues or queries which users raise. Please refer to the current CYPHS User Guidance document for further information.

CIDS information standard

pdf icon Download the Information Standards Notice (1510252010isn) [263kb]

Read further standard documents on Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) web pages. (Opens in a new window)

Other documents

xls icon Reference Data Set [1Mb]

This is the original data set developed with the NHS stakeholder expert reference group. It is not tested or approved for implementation by ISB and is for reference only.

xls icon Community Information Data Set Technical Output Specification [511kb]

A detailed specification of each CIDS data item, including linkage items used to link each data group.

pdf icon CIDS data model [77kb]

A single page data model of the CIDS, for use with the Technical Output Specification and other documents.

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