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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 & Emergency Commissioning Data Set (CDS type 010) and was implemented through: ECDS (CDS 6.2.2 Type 011).

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.

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The conformance criteria document referred to in section 3.3 of the requirement specification is still under review and not officially released yet.

We will update this page with the guidance when it is finalised.

Improvements enabled by ECDS

ECDS Type 011 is better equipped to keep pace with the increasing complexity of delivering emergency care than its predecessor.  This means that the improved quality of data collected in emergency departments provides better support to healthcare planning and better-informed decision making on improvements to services. 

This improved data helps improve understanding of:

  • the complexity and acuity of attending patients
  • the causes of rising demand
  • the value added by emergency departments.

ECDS also allows:

  • the capture of better diagnostic data to ensure an enhanced understanding of need, activity and outcomes
  • consistent monitoring of data across local and national initiatives
  • support for injury surveillance, such that it will be possible to identify patterns that may be amenable to targeted interventions and improved public health.

Which in turn informs more effective and efficient resource deployment.

Implementation timescales

The April 2017 ISN placed the following implementation requirement on care providers:

Type 011 introduces a move towards submission of data on a weekly and daily basis. A&E providers, categorised as either Type1 or Type 2, are required to submit data on at least a weekly basis by October 2017, progressing to daily submission by April 2018. Providers, categorised as either Type 3 or Type 4, are required to submit data on a daily basis from October 2018.

In summary

  • Type 1 and 2 Emergency Department Types: October 2017 – weekly submission
  • Type 1 and 2 Emergency Department Types: April 2018 – daily submission
  • Type 3 and 4 Emergency Department Types: October 2018 – daily submission

The legal bases of this requirement are:

notifications submitted under sections 259 and 254 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and point 44.28 of the NHS Standard Contract 2017/19. 

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Related pages

  1. internal

    Emergency care data set (ECDS) webinars

    The Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) team host ECDS webinars covering all aspects of the ECDS. Copies of past webinars and slides are available to download, together with the details of the next webinar and how to register.

  2. internal

    ECDS feedback and how you can help

    Your feedback and input into the ongoing development of ECDS is welcome. Please complete our on-line form if you have a suggestion on how we can improve specific data items or if you would like to give general feedback about ECDS.

  3. internal

    ECDS guidance

    We have provided some user guidance about technical implementation and for clinical and admin staff about

  4. external

    Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC)

    The latest information on Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) is available from the following NHS England /NHS Improvement web page.

Last edited: 9 October 2019 12:09 pm