Data Services for Commissioners (DSfC)

Data Conformance

Urgent Care Data

DSfC glossary – a list of acronyms and other terms associated with the programme and its products.


Data Services for Commissioners (DSfC) – FAQs

Q1. What is the Data Services Platform (DSP) programme?

A1. The Data Services Platform (DSP) programme is delivering technology that will enable us to transform the way data is used to improve health and care. It will enable NHS Digital to collect, process and use data in a smarter, more efficient way and deliver more timely, better-linked data that gives us a clearer national picture of health and care. These secure tools and processes will stand the test of time and support future innovation and improvements.

For more information contact enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk or call 0300 303 5678.

Q2. What is the Data Services for Commissioners (DSfC) programme?

A2. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)’s responsibilities as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 include the collection, analysis and presentation of national health and social care data. The Act also gave HSCIC the powers to act as a safe haven and collect, hold and process personal confidential data (PCD) for purposes beyond direct patient care.

NHS England has overall responsibility for £90 billion worth of healthcare commissioning in England. Directions from NHS England to HSCIC established the Data Services for Commissioners (DSfC) programme.

The DSfC programme has designed and is implementing solutions for data collection, processing and dissemination to enable CCGs, LAPH and NHS England to access data to effectively commission services in line with their statutory duties. It has identified sustainable legal gateways for data to be disseminated, so that commissioners can undertake their statutory duties.

Q3. Who are DSfC working with, and how?

A3. DSfC leads are working with providers, commissioners, commissioning support organisations, DSCROs, vanguards, the HSCIC and other NHS England teams to achieve the programme’s objectives.

Providers and commissioners are encouraged to work with the DSfC programme during the 2016/17 financial year to understand the requirements of the DSfC resource and prepare for implementation once the Data Services Platform (DSP) becomes live.

DSfC are very keen to work with providers and commissioners in order to continually develop and improve our products. As the DSfC programme evolves, further products will be developed to mitigate the range of issues currently facing commissioning intelligence. These will also be published both for consultation purposes and in their final forms via this resource. To register your interest in this work and to be added to our consultation lists, or for further information, please contact england.dsfc@nhs.net.

Data Conformance – FAQs

Q1. Local reporting requirements require the capture of a number of additional fields beyond those documented in a conformed data specification template. Can providers add additional fields to the template to support local reporting requirements?

 A1. Yes. A number of locally defined fields are included in all specification templates in order to support local requirements. The title and content of these need to be clearly defined and coded using a coding structure submitted to the data recipient. Further they must not contain personal confidential data (PCD).

The long-term aim is to work with providers to reduce local variation going forward in order to reduce the burden.

Q2. Is there any funding available to cover the local costs of collection of data in a specified format?

 A2. Unfortunately, no funding is available for the collection of data in a conformed way, which may require changes to the system. However, once initial changes to systems have been made, benefits of any data conformance include increased consistency of data across providers and datasets and the ability to use linked datasets, amongst other things.

Please note: Current work has focussed on current practice in local areas and, therefore, this should not be causing any additional burden to what providers do now.

Q3. How and who do I send data to?

 A3. Providers should continue to send data to their usual DSCRO as agreed with their commissioners. This may change as the DSfC solution develops and any such changes will be communicated in due course.

Q4. How do I structure and format the data to be submitted, in CSV or XML?

 A4. In 2016/17 this is for agreement locally between providers and commissioning support organisations who are responsible for processing the data.

Urgent Care Data – FAQs

Q1. I am already submitting these data to a DSCRO, do I have to do this as well?

 A1. These specifications are designed to improve efficiency of existing local data flows – any existing local urgent and emergency care data flows could be replaced with the A&E, NHS 111 / Integrated Urgent Care and Emergency Ambulance specifications.

Q2. I do not currently provide all the data covered by the specification, should I?

A2. All providers of urgent and emergency care are requested to submit the A&E, 111 and Emergency Ambulance specifications. If you already collect and hold the data please include it in your submissions. If it is not possible to meet all the requirements, then do not include the unavailable data items. It is not anticipated that the change to these specifications will require a change to clinical systems. For example, A&E CDS diagnosis data will still be accepted if ICD10 is not available in your trust.

Q3. What should I do if I do not provide urgent and emergency care data?

A3. If you do not provide urgent and emergency care services then you are not required to submit urgent and emergency care related data. If there are no agreements in your area for providers to share these data, then this guidance does not apply. However, it may form part of a specification for establishing a new flow to support local urgent care commissioning.

Q4. I provide urgent and emergency care services but we have no technical solution to collect the data as yet, what should I do?

A4. It is recommended to investigate a technical solution to be able to capture collected urgent and emergency care data in the formats proposed in respective A&E, NHS 111 / Integrated Urgent Care and Emergency Ambulance specification documents. This will pre-empt mandated ECDS, NHS 111 / Integrated Urgent Care and Emergency Ambulance dataset information standards in future.

Q5. My urgent and emergency care data are held on many different systems and I am not sure how to get it into this format and our systems suppliers have not set up an extract to do it, how do I resolve this problem?

A5. It is recommended to work with your system supplier to collate data into the suggested conformed formats as these are likely to be mandated for national ECDS, NHS 111 / Integrated Urgent Care and Emergency Ambulance collections in future.

Q6. How are you going to ensure that the urgent and emergency care specifications remain aligned with any future national changes?

A6. A process will be set up that will include regular checks for any changes relating to urgent and emergency care on the HSCIC website. Any future changes to urgent and emergency care will be reflected in respective specifications.