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Commissioning Data Sets

Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) enable national reporting on NHS funded or provided secondary care.


The Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) are maintained and developed by NHS Digital, in accordance with the needs of the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care.


CDS form the basis of data on activity carried out by NHS trusts reported centrally for monitoring and payment purposes. They support the current Healthcare Resource Group (HRG) version 4 for calculation of payment to trusts and monitoring of other initiatives including the 18 weeks Referral to Treatment standard. Current developments to the CDS include:

  • development of data items to support 18 weeks Referral to Treatment, such as
    • monitoring the closure of patient pathways
    • updates to the elective admission Lists
    • piloting the future care outpatients data items
  • maintenance of treatment function codes and specialty lists to support

All of the changes are reviewed by the NHS Information Standards Board and therefore require evidence that they can be implemented in services and are interoperable with NHS systems.

Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) v6.3

NHS Digital are currently developing an update to CDS, version 6.3. The CDS v6.3 changes are designed to update CDS in line with current clinical and data recording practices, as well as to support recent policy initiatives and enable conformance with other information standards and legislation introduced since CDS v6.2 went live.

The CDS v6.3 update will enable SNOMED CT codes to be submitted, including those authored in support of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will introduce some minor updates to data items to conform with recent NHS Data Model and Dictionary changes.

CDS v6.3 overview webinars

In November 2020 NHS Digital ran three webinars to explain and discuss the requirements that have been gathered for the forthcoming CDS v6.3 uplift. View a recording of the webinar, transcript and presentation slides.  

If you have any questions about the CDS v6.3 update, please contact us by emailing

Change process

Requests for changes to the CDS should be submitted via email to

Change requests are logged and considered for prioritisation. For changes to be considered, they must have evidence of supporting a business requirement and have sponsorship from the Department of Health.

Changes to the CDS impact on a wide range of organisations and service areas including:

  • NHS trusts
  • Patient Administration Systems (PAS) suppliers
  • Secondary Uses Service
  • NHS Data Dictionary
  • Payment by Results

The changes need to be assured and approved so that they can be mandated via the issuing of an updated Information Standards Notice and appropriate notice can be given of the implementation date.

Last edited: 29 March 2021 11:46 am