Data Services

Our vision is to deliver better commissioning insight with consistent, high quality data processed once and accessed appropriately by all commissioners.

Within the NHS, local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for planning, designing, buying, and paying for £90 billion of health and social care services across England. In order to do this, the CCGs need to use information about patients.

There are very strict rules surrounding the use of this data, and the Data Services for Commissioners programme ensures the safe and minimal use of personal data about patients.

The Data Services for Commissioners programme has been established to improve NHS commissioning by ensuring that commissioning decisions, and the insights that support them, are based upon robust, standardised data that has been processed efficiently and is accessed legally. Our intention is that all staff and organisations that support or carry out NHS commissioning activities will be fully and demonstrably compliant with the information governance requirements of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and the Care Act 2014, and will only use identifiable data when there is a clear need and stated legal basis to do so.

Our Objectives

The objectives for the Data Services for Commissioners programme are:

  • To develop and deliver future-state solutions whereby commissioners are no longer dependent on temporary arrangements and have the right legal basis and access to the level of data necessary to fulfil their statutory duties;
  • The Health and Social Care Information Centre will operate as the national safe haven for personal confidential data (PCD) and provide de-identification and re-identification services in a timely, seamless manner;
  • To improve the current temporary arrangement for access to all data processors and legitimate users of commissioning data sets for analysis and reporting;
  • To securely migrate business-as-usual Data Services for Commissioning Regional Office services to the future-state solution.

Directions from NHS England allow NHS Digital to capture local healthcare information for commissioning purposes. To enable intelligent commissioning of healthcare services, NHS Digital collects, analyses, and processes healthcare data into a format that allows the appropriate commissioners access to the relevant data. In doing this, the Data Services for Commissioners programme allows commissioners access to the appropriate information without compromising patient confidentiality or statutory legal requirements surrounding the use of this data.