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Data sets

National data sets define a standard set of information that is generated from care records, from any organisation or system that captures the base data. They are structured lists of individual data items, each with a clear label, definition and set of permissible values, codes and classifications. From this, secondary uses information is derived or compiled, which can then be used to monitor and improve services.


How are national data sets developed?

Each data set is developed with the assistance of a reference group, which brings together health and social care professionals, Department of Health policy leads, representatives from Royal Colleges, other partner organisations and advocates. Input from the reference group forms the first stage of an extensive phase of development and testing.

All data sets are developed in line with the guidelines set down by the NHS Information Standards Board (ISB).

  • Community Information Data Set

    The community information data set provides national standards for data from community healthcare providers in England. It reflects key information captured from any patient using a community healthcare service.

  • Maternity and Children's Data Set

    The Maternity and Children's Data Set (MCDS) has been developed to help achieve better outcomes of care for mothers, babies and children. The data set will provide comparative, mother and child-centric data that will be used to improve clinical quality and service efficiency; and to commission services in a way that improves health and reduces inequalities. As a 'secondary uses' data set, it re-uses clinical and operational data for purposes other than direct patient care.

  • Cancer Data Set

  • Commissioning Data Sets

  • Diabetes Data Set

  • Diagnostic Imaging Dataset

    A mandated collection of data on diagnostic imaging tests, as provided by extracts from NHS Providers' Radiological Information Systems.

  • Mental Health Minimum Data Set

    The Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS) contains record-level data about the care of adults and older people using secondary mental health services.

  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Data Set

    The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Data Set contains record level data about the care of and outcomes for people accessing IAPT services.

  • National Renal Data Set

  • National Specialty List/Treatment Function Codes

    The National Speciality List comprises Main Specialty and Treatment Function Codes, both of which are used to report activity throughout the NHS.

  • National Workforce Data Set (NWD) and NHS occupation codes

    We maintain the National Workforce Data set (NWD) and the NHS occupation codes, which together specify the data standards for NHS workforce information, including implementation within the Electronic Staff Record (ESR).

  • NHS Health Check Secondary Use Data Set

    NHS Health Checks could prevent over 4,000 people a year from developing type 2 diabetes and detect at least 20,000 cases of diabetes or kidney disease earlier, allowing individuals to be better managed and improve their quality of life.

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