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Secondary Uses Service (SUS)

The Secondary Uses Service (SUS) is the single, comprehensive repository for healthcare data in England which enables a range of reporting and analyses to support the NHS in the delivery of healthcare services.


The NHS is changing in April 2013. Find out how SUS is supporting these changes at the 'How is SUS supporting the NHS reorganisation' section of the SUS guidance page.


What is SUS?

When a patient or service user is treated or cared for, information is collected which supports their treatment. This information is also useful for many other purposes such as:

  • Healthcare planning
  • Commissioning services
  • Payment by Results
  • Improving public health
  • Developing national policy

SUS is a data warehouse containing this patient-level information.  Data can be clear (patient identifiable), anonymised or pseudonymised as required for the user's needs. NHS providers and commissioners can use this data for 'secondary uses'; purposes other than primary clinical care. SUS provides a range of services and functionality which you can use to analyse, report and present this data.

SUS data are held in a secure environment that maintains patient confidentiality to national standards.


Who is it for?

SUS can be accessed by:

  • any healthcare provider that submits patient data to SUS (NHS and independent sector)
  • organisations that commission data from SUS
  • organisations that check healthcare compliance and consistency with national standards, such as Area Teams (previously SHA)

SUS access is managed using role-based access controls (RBAC) and restricted to three individuals per organisation. 

Freely available aggregated data containing details of all admissions to NHS hospitals in England are provided by the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) service.


How do I apply for access to view SUS data?

SUS operates a strict information governance process to ensure data is protected from unauthorised access. Users can only view information relevant to the purposes applied for.

Step one: You will require an N3 connection (also known as the 'National Framework') to access the SPINE and SUS. NHS networks should automatically be configured with an N3 connection. Users outside of the NHS network requiring N3 will need to complete an 'expression of interest' form:

Step two: Approach your local registration authority for local advice on how to apply.  Access can be granted electronically but the process is managed by each local team. Registration authority contacts tend to be members of an IT department or an IG representative.

Step three: Local registration authority sponsor will assign correct access rights (business functions) to a user's smartcard.

pdf icon Guidance for sponsors and agents on the granting of SUS RBAC [611kb]

Independent sector healthcare provider:

Independent providers should fill in the independent sector registration from.

word icon Independent Sector Registration form [158kb]


How do I apply for access to submit data to SUS?

To enable data submissions senders must follow these steps in the correct order:

Step one: Apply for a legitimate organisation code, if you do not already have one, from the Organisation Data Service (ODS)

Step two: To obtain a commissioning data set (CDS) interchange sender identity you should complete an EDI registration form

Step three: Submit a completed SR1 form to the BT Helpdesk who will register your new organisation code(s) and log your contact details

Step four: You should enlist an approved XML supplier to ensure that SUS data are in the correct XML format. The following deployment guidance includes details of approved suppliers and how to work with them:


Sign up to the SUS Bulletin

For monthly news and updates to your mailbox, please email enquiries@hscic.gov.uk with the subject heading "SUS bulletin request" or call the HSCIC Contact Centre on 0845 300 6016.

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