Skip to main content

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 


News and updates

Learn more about the latest updates to ECDS. 

ECDS v3.0

The Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) v3.0 uplifted 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 now available.

ECDS Enhanced Technical Output Specification

The ECDS Enhanced Technical Output Specification (ETOS) v3.1.0 is now 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 (v3.0.0) of the Enhanced Technical Output Specification (ETOS).

Updates to reference sets

The update to the ECDS reference sets has three main parts.

  • Part one – make the new reference sets available for download on TRUD
  • Part two – make the new ETOS available
  • Part three – update the codes used in data quality (DQ) reporting

Parts one to three are now complete – SUS+ has been updated with the codes used in DQ reporting, meaning that all codes represented in TRUD or the latest ETOS may be submitted and will be marked as valid.

Where a SNOMED code has been deactivated in this release, it will remain valid for DQ purposes until the end of March 2022.

The reference sets can also be downloaded from TRUD (requires TRUD login). Not all ED systems use TRUD for updates so this may not be applicable to you.

Addition of UK preferred term column

We have added a new column in the Chief Complaint and Diagnosis 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 to discuss further.

New codes in TRUD

The following three codes were introduced to the Diagnosis RefSet in the October 2021 TRUD release.

The new SNOMED codes were added to TRUD in the October 2021 release. However, these updated UK preferred terms will not appear, as they are provisional at the moment. They will be deployed into TRUD once confirmed, hopefully in the December 2021 release.

SNOMED code Fully specified name (do not use in deployment) UK preferred term (use in deployment)
397430003 Diphtheria due to Corynebacterium diphtheriae Diphtheria
417109008 Subluxation of radial head Pulled elbow 
24864009 Sprain of interphalangeal joint of toe Sprain of toe 

For clinical safety reasons, the codes should be deployed using UK Preferred Term as the term that is visible to the user, not the Fully Specified Name.

Where this causes problems for TRUD-using systems, we would advise that no changes are made until the updated Diagnosis RefSet is released in December 2021.

Code changes

The codes we asked you to add manually in the July (part one) communication will be valid until 31 March 2022.

These codes will be directly replaced by the newly introduced codes as per the table below. You must switch to the replacement codes before 31 March 2022.

Inactive code Replacement code
397428000 397430003
95854004 417109008
262998001 24864009


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 v3.1.0.

SNOMED codes that have been deprecated (those that do not appear as valid in v3.1.0 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
3.1.0 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

Join our mailing list

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

Further information

internal ECDS data quality report

The ECDS data quality report is based on the monitored quality of the chief complaint, first diagnosis and acuity data items submitted within ECDS. The report is published monthly by SUS.

Last edited: 8 December 2021 11:37 am