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About the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS)

The Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS) collects data from the health records of individual children, young people and adults who are in contact with mental health services.


The Mental Health Services Data Set  (MHSDS) is a PATIENT level, output based secondary uses data set which aims to deliver robust, comprehensive, nationally consistent and comparable person-based information for PATIENTS  who are in contact with  Mental Health Services.

The Mental Health Services Data Set  covers Mental Health Services  located in England, or located outside England but treating PATIENTS commissioned by an English Integrated Care Board,  NHS England specialised commissioner or an NHS-led Provider Collaborative.

As a secondary uses data set, the Mental Health Services Data Set  re-uses clinical and operational data for purposes other than direct PATIENT care, and defines the data items, definitions and associated value sets to be extracted or derived from local information systems.

What data is submitted to the MHSDS


All ACTIVITY relating to PATIENTS who receive assessments and treatment from  Mental Health Services  is within the scope of the Mental Health Services Data Set, where the PATIENT has, or are thought to have:

  • A mental health condition and/or

  • A need for support with their mental wellbeing and/or

  • A Learning Disability  and/or

  • Autism

     or any other neurodevelopmental condition.

The scope of the Mental Health Services Data Set  requires PATIENT  record level data submission from SERVICES as follows:

  • For each PATIENT  attending a SERVICE located in England:

    • If the care is wholly funded by the NHS: the data submission for that PATIENT is mandatory

    • If the care is partially funded by the NHS: the data submission for that PATIENT is mandatory

    • If the care is wholly funded by any means that is not NHS: the data submission for that PATIENT  is optional.

  • For each PATIENT attending a SERVICE located outside England, but commissioned by an English Integrated Care Board or NHS England specialised commissioner, the data submission is optional.

Full details of in scope and out of scope services for the current version of the MHSDS (MHSDS v5.0) can found in MHSDS Requirements Specification document, which is available to download from the MHSDS information standard web page.  

Who submits MHSDS data

The Mental Health Services Data Set is used across the range of Health Care Providers and ORGANISATIONS that provide Mental Health Services (irrespective of funding arrangements) including:

  • NHS Mental Health Trusts

  • NHS Learning Disabilities Trusts

  • NHS Acute Trusts

  • NHS Care Trusts

  • Independent Sector Healthcare Providers

    offering a service model that includes NHS funded and non-NHS funded PATIENTS

  • Voluntary sector Health Care Providers

  • Any qualified provider offering Mental Health Services

  • Community SERVICES offering secondary care to children.

Table 1a in the monthly submission report contains a list of organisations who currently submit data to the MHSDS and are deemed to be in scope. 

MHSDS v5.0

MHSDS v5.0 (DCB0011) is the latest version of the information standard to be approved by the Data Coordination Board (DCB), data collection for v5.0 commenced in October 2021, replacing the previous v4.1 collection.  

The information standard defines the data items, definitions and associated value sets to be extracted or derived from local information systems.

The associated ISNs and standard documentation can be found on the DCB0011 publication page.

You can find previous versions of the MHSDS on the government national archives site.

How the MHSDS is used

MHSDS data is used for:

  • commissioning services
  • clinical audit
  • research
  • service planning
  • inspection and regulation
  • monitoring government policies and legislation
  • local and national performance management and benchmarking
  • national reporting and analysis

It is also the data source used by Mental Health Currencies and Payments (formerly PbR). Under this system, patients are assigned to care clusters and each cluster is linked to a care package, which commissioners are paying for. The mental health care clusters and mental health clustering tool are implemented through the MHSDS.

MHSDS statistics offer a comprehensive national picture of the use of specialist mental health, learning disabilities or autism services in England. These  can be used by:

  • policy makers
  • commissioners
  • mental health service users
  • members of the public

Change Requests

To request a future change to the MHSDS please email [email protected] quoting 'MHSDS requirement' in the subject title. 


Further information

internal Multiple Submission Window Model for MHSDS

Following consultation with a range of stakeholders, NHS Digital has implemented a Multiple Submission Window Model (MSWM) for MHSDS that has been available to providers since April 2020.

internal Mental health services events

Recent and upcoming events from the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS) team including webinars, training and engagement events.

internal Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS) archived documentation

These versions of the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS) data set have since been superseded for submission. These documents are archive documents and are for reference only, to help you understand the development of the data set.

Last edited: 14 March 2023 8:50 am