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Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS)

The Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) is the national data set for urgent and emergency care. It replaced Accident and Emergency Commissioning Data Set (CDS type 010) and was implemented through: ECDS (CDS 6.2.2 Type 011 and subsequent releases).

ECDS allows NHS Digital to provide information to support the care provided in emergency departments by including the data items needed to understand capacity and demand and help improve patient care.

The Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) collects information about why people attend emergency departments and the treatment they receive to:

  • improve patient care through better and more consistent information
  • allow better planning of healthcare services
  • improve communication between health professionals

Watch the ECDS film 


ECDS v4.0

The SUS+ release on 29 June 2023 enabled the submission of data under ECDS v4.0 from 1 July 2023.

Further details are on the SUS what's new page. 

The Information Standards Notice (ISN) for ECDS v4.0 was published in January 2023.

The key documents for the ISN are now available. 

They are the:

  • Information Standards Notice
  • Requirements Specification
  • Change Specification
  • Implementation Guidance
  • Technical Output Specification (TOS)

The key changes made in ECDS version 4.0 include:

  • recording of Virtual Care (including virtual consultations)
  • recording Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) activity
  • recording of Hot Clinics (Pilot)
  • deprecation of EC Service Type 04 – ‘NHS walk in centres’
  • recording activity relating to prevention of violence and injury / Injury Sharing to Tackle Violence (ISTV)
  • introduction of new Assessment Scales
  • expansion of clinical data terms (ECDS Max)
  • other minor changes (see TOS Change Control for more details)

Providers and system suppliers should familiarise themselves with the published documents to support the implementation date of 1 July 2023 and full conformance date of 1 July 2024.

ECDS Max is not being implemented from 1 July 2023 and will be implemented at a future date.

The supporting documents for ECDS v4.0 including user guidance, XML Schema and an Enhanced Technical Output Specification are published. 

The ECDS v4.0 XML Schema is published on TRUD (account required).

For reference you can find the list of requirements in our guidance library and further information on the FutureNHS ECDS Forum.

ECDS v3.0

The Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) v3.0 ECDS Information Standard, including the approved version of the Technical Output Specification V3.0  and a BETA version of the updated ECDS User Guide are still available.

ECDS v3.0 Enhanced Technical Output Specification

The ECDS Enhanced Technical Output Specification (ETOS) v3.1.1 is still available to download.

You will find the full SUS code list on the SUS+ what's new page please continue to check this page for updates.

There have been a number of changes to enhance the available ECDS codes, particularly diagnosis codes, and correct a number of issues with the previous version (v3.1.0) of the Enhanced Technical Output Specification (ETOS).

Updates to reference sets

Due to the ECDS Technical Committee approved change release schedule differing from the SNOMED release schedule (TRUD). Providers and suppliers should use the published ECDS Enhanced Technical Output Specification, aligned with the SUS+ submission portal approved codes list for implementing all changes, rather than TRUD to avoid submission and Data Quality issues seen previously.

Addition of UK preferred term column

We have added a new column in all SNOMED code tabs of the ETOS, to display the UK preferred term for each of the concepts in the RefSet.

Within the UK, systems must use the UK Edition of SNOMED CT. The UK Edition contains UK English descriptions in addition to the US descriptions provided in the International Release; it also provides relationships to UK concepts. This relates to the SCCI0034 standard.

SNOMED native systems must ensure that the UK preferred term is displayed. If this is not possible, suppliers should contact us by emailing [email protected] to discuss further.

Retirement of deprecated SNOMED CT Codes

End-dates are placed on any codes that are no longer used, so they will be flagged as invalid for activity. Please ensure you check your local setup to ensure it only contains SNOMED codes presented in the Enhanced Technical Output Specification v3.1.1.

SNOMED codes that have been deprecated (those that do not appear as valid in v3.1.1 of the E TOS) will no longer be accepted as valid codes for submission to SUS+ for activity.

ECDS conformance criteria

The conformance criteria document referred to in section 3.3 of the requirement specification has now been released.


ECDS version alignment

Technical Output Spec version  Aligns with schema version Aligns with SNOMED content version  Notes
3.1.1 CDS v6.2.3 February 2022 Content updated with new codes and descriptions 
3.1.0 CDS v6.2.3 October 2021 Now available fixes previous errors, introduces the SNOMED UK preferred term columns in chief complaint and diagnosis tabs
3.0.0 CDS v6.2.3 August 2020 Now available (Enhanced) CDS v6.2.2 April 2020 Addition of SNOMED term for COVID-19 Coronavirus, due to the infectious notifiable disease outbreak
2.1.1 (Enhanced) CDS v6.2.2 October 2018 Lists all deprecated SNOMED codes due for retirement on 31/3/2019. This has been replaced with v2.1.1.1 which was published April 2020
2.1  CDS v6.2.2

Structure only

No SNOMED content

Contains fix to postcode of usual address minimum field length and some minor typos.
2.0.0 (Enhanced)  CDS v6.2.2 October 2018  Replaced with v2.1.0, see above
2.0 CDS v6.2.2 Structure only NO SNOMED content Replaced with v2.1.0, see above
1.5.2  (Enhanced)  CDS v6.2.1 October 2018   
1.01 CDS v6.2.1 October 2017  
1.0 CDS v6.2.1 April 2017   


You can use this form if you want to specifically request new ECDS SNOMED codes or request an amend to existing ECDS SNOMED codes.

If you have a general enquiry about ECDS please email us [email protected].

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Join our mailing list to receive important ECDS updates, news and alerts.

Further information

ECDS Forum FutureNHS Collaboration Platform (external link, opens in a new tab)

This is a collaborative network for anyone with an interest in the ECDS and it's future. You can discuss, share learning, find information and support, and see what the future holds for ECDS. Scroll down for a snapshot of some of our upcoming events and milestones, and all the latest forum highlights. You can register an account via the page or alternatively email [email protected] to request an invitation link.

ECDS Provider User Group Registration (external link, opens in a new tab)

Data Liaison Service also host a monthly user group every third Thursday of the month, 3pm – 4pm, to enable discussion on all aspects of the ECDS The agenda typically includes a mix of national updates, sharing of best practice, demos of new resources and plenty of questions and answers. All materials and recordings are available via the ECDS Forum at communications and engagement - ECDS Forum - FutureNHS Collaboration Platform. Alternatively, please contact [email protected] with any queries.

Last edited: 8 September 2023 1:23 pm