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Data Services for Commissioners


What is the Data Services for Commissioners?

The Data Services for Commissioners is a new service which processes data to support local commissioning whilst protecting patient confidentiality.

NHS England has commissioned the HSCIC to deliver the new Data Services for Commissioners. The service is delivered by staff seconded into the HSCIC from Commissioning Support Units (CSUs), who are part of a Data Management Integration Centre (DMIC). The seconded staff continue to work from their local offices using regional processing centres.

The service will receive and process personal confidential data (PCD) on behalf of Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). This will reduce or remove the need for these organisations to handle PCD and allow them to deliver focus on their core commissioning functions.

This service will operate initially for a 12-month period from 1 April 2013.

Protecting Patient Confidentiality

The regional processing centres will follow strict processes to protect the confidentiality of data and strong controls will be in place regarding the release of data from this service. In particular, personal confidential data (PCD) will only be passed on to other health organisations if there is a lawful basis for that to happen; for example, where the data is required for direct patient care, or where patient consent has been gained.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 places the HSCIC in a unique position in the health and care system as the organisation empowered to handle and process Personal Confidential Data with high standards of stewardship and governance of the information that we handle.

Data Services for Commissioners Regional Offices (DSCROs)

The Data Services for Commissioners (DSC) includes the following DSC Regional Offices:

  • DSCRO CENTRAL SOUTHERN
  • DSCRO CENTRAL MIDLANDS
  • DSCRO GEM
  • DSCRO NORTH AND EAST LONDON
  • DSCRO NORTH OF ENGLAND
  • DSCRO NORTH WEST
  • DSCRO NORTH WEST LONDON
  • DSCRO SOUTH
  • DSCRO SOUTH LONDON
  • DSCRO SOUTH WEST
  • DSCRO YORKSHIRE

To contact a DSCRO, email enquiries@hscic.gov.uk, or telephone 0845 300 6016.  You may check which DSCRO supports a particular Commissioning Support Unit (CSU), or Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) listed below. 

xls icon DSCRO - Commissioning Relationships v1.2 [258kb]

If you wish to make contact with your business lead based within the relevant Data Services for Commissioning Regional Office please contact us at enquiries@hscic.gov.uk or telephone number 0845 300 6016 stating where possible the regional office you wish to speak to.


Why do we need to process Personal Confidential Data?

Patients receive care in different care settings from different health professionals, all of whom record the care and treatment given. This means information about patient care is recorded in a number of different places. In order to plan and organise care treatment, commissioners must be able to view all the treatment a patient receives. Personal confidential data is needed, such as NHS number, date of birth, gender and postcode to ensure the right information is matched to the right person to give a true picture of care.

After information has been linked the identifiers such as the NHS number, the date of birth, gender and postcode can be removed before that information is shared with Commissioning Support Units (CSUs), NHS England Area Teams and Local Authorities.

The HSCIC is authorised to pass on Personal Confidential Data where there is a lawful basis to do so, such as for direct patient care, where patient consent has been given or if approval has been given by the Secretary of State for Health under section 251 approval.

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