The expansion in the scope of the data set means that many of the basic measures in this monthly release now cover a wider set of services than in the previous release. We have introduced service level breakdowns for some measures to provide new information to users, but also to provide comparability with key measures in the previous release (for example, by providing breakdowns for adult mental health services). Full details can be found in the Metadata file that accompanies each publication.
We have also introduced new data products and reports as we start to exploit the wider scope of the data set to provide information about learning disabilities services and children and young people's mental health services, and to support the introduction of waiting times for mental health services.
Because the data set is new these statistics are classified as experimental and subject to change. The classification of experimental statistics is in keeping with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice. Experimental statistics are new official statistics that are undergoing evaluation. They are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development, and as a means to build-in quality at an early stage. We will release the reports as experimental statistics until the characteristics of data flowed using the new data standard are understood.
The series is evolving rapidly but as a minimum each release contains:
- an executive summary which presents some national-level time series information;
- data files with subnational figures for a variety of activity and caseload measures, designed to provide the basis for discussions between providers and commissioners and the building blocks of some quality and performance measures;
- a set of provider level data quality measures (also presented for provisional data for the month ahead);
- a detailed metadata file, which provides contextual information for each measure, including a full description, current uses, and the method used for analysis.
This information will be of particular interest to organisations involved in the delivery of secondary mental health and learning disability services, as it presents timely information to support discussions between providers and commissioners of services.
For patients, researchers, agencies and the wider public it aims to provide up to date information about the numbers of people using services, spending time in psychiatric hospitals and subject to the Mental Health Act (MHA). Some of these measures are currently experimental analysis.
All the measures can be produced from analysis of the monthly extracts available to providers (via Strategic Data Collection Service Cloud) and commissioners (via Data Services for Commissioners Regional Offices), although many measures use data from previous submissions.