How do I submit data to the Mental Health Services Data Set?

Who should submit data to the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS)?

The MHSDS applies to all service providers and organisations that provide specialist secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder services.

How do I implement the data set?

The MHSDS defines an output standard; it does not represent a definitive list of data items and values which may need to be captured locally for care delivery, merely a subset of data requiring local extraction for central submission for analysis purposes. Service Providers have the flexibility to adopt any local data collection process or system which is able to collect and output the data as described in the data set specification. The type of service delivery locally will determine the data collected and so able to be submitted centrally. For example providers not delivering outpatient services will not be able to submit outpatient data.

The data set is not a patient care record but is based on clinical and operational information. Providers should therefore look to re-use their clinical and operational systems to extract MHSDS data.

Read more about the implementation of the data set in the Implementation Guidance.

What do service providers need to do?

Mental health, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder services that are either mandated, or opt, to flow data must be fully conformant with the standard. Submission of the data set is guided by the data set scope, which describes for instance the client age group, services received and funding streams which require submission. Providers must give full consideration to the scope of the data set to ensure complete representation of the services delivered to be included in the data set.

What do suppliers of IT systems need to do?

Suppliers of mental health, learning disability and autism spectrum disorder service IT systems should ensure that provider systems are able to capture and/or derive the data items defined in the MHSDS. Provider systems should be able to generate extracts which comply with MHSDS and BSP submission requirements.  

How do I register to submit data to the MHSDS?

Service providers must submit MHSDS data via the Open Exeter Bureau Service Portal using a registered Open Exeter account. This site is only accessible via an n3 connection to the NHS network.

Read more about how to submit data via the Bureau Service Portal in the Technical Guidance.  

What are the submission dates?

MHSDS data is required to be submitted monthly, the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial year timetable for which is attached.

For clarity, v2.0 of the IDB retires on 23rd May 2018, you can use this version to submit up until this date, e.g. March refresh and April primary data can be submitted within the May submission window which runs from 1st to 23rd May in accordance with the timetable below. The IDB for v3.0 will then be available from 1st June for April 2018 data.

MHSDS submission windows 1718 1819 v2

MHSDS Intermediate Database

The submission of MHSDS data must always be undertaken using the latest Intermediate Database (IDB). The latest IDB template to use for MHSDS submissions is available to download from the Bureau Service Portal.

Alternatively, the latest copy can be requested from NHS Digital's contact centre. Please send an email to with "MHSDS IDB" in the subject line.

Current IDB Version

Version Number

Release Date Status
mhsdsmasteridbversion2_0_05.mdb 2_0_05 07/02/2017 Current - For MHSDS v2.0 submissions
mhsdsmasteridbversion3_0_01.mdb 3_0_08 28/02/2018 Future - For MHSDS v3.0 submissions from 01/06/2018 onwards

Bureau Service Portal Known Issues for MHSDS v2.0

Where a system issue is identified, the issue will be communicated to users through the below Known Issues Update. This document will contain interim guidance, where required, and provide an update on the status of resolution. This is a live document that will be updated as issues become resolved. Please review this document before making submissions.



MHSDS known issues update


How do I get more information about submissions?

Guidance for providers experiencing challenges in submitting data is Information for Providers Experiencing Data Set Submission Challenges.

For further detailed guidance about the BSP and submission process, please contact the Open Exeter Helpdesk at:
Tel: 0300 303 4034

For all other queries relating to MHSDS please contact the Community & Mental Health team via the NHS Digital contact centre at:

Tel: 0300 303 5678


How do I view the data?

Providers and commissioners can download record level extracts of their own MHSDS data by logging into the Bureau Service Portal.

Read more about how to access MHSDS data.

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