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Submit data to the Mental Health Services Data Set

All providers of specialist secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder services should submit to the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS). This page explains how.

How to register to submit data to the MHSDS

Service providers must submit MHSDS data via the Strategic Data Collection Service in the Cloud (SDCS Cloud) using a registered account.

Read more about how to submit data via the SDCS in the Registration and User Guide.

Once registered with SDCS Cloud you can follow our guidance on submitting to the MHSDS.

How to submit to the MHSDS

This guidance describes the steps required for an organisation to be ready to submit the MHSDS to NHS Digital via the SDCS Cloud.

From September 2019 data should be uploaded via SDCS Cloud using the MHSDS v4.0 intermediate database.

Third party submissions

Most organisations collect and submit their own data to the MHSDS. This is the preferred option.

However some organisations - mostly small, third or independent sector organisations - work with another organisation who submits data to the MHSDS on their behalf.

Where it is more practical to do so, it is acceptable for third and independent sector providers to ask their IT system supplier or another mental health provider (usually a trust) to submit their data on their behalf.

Refer to the PDF document above entitled ‘How to submit to the mental health services data set (MHSDS)’ for additional information on third party submissions.

What to submit

The requirements of the MHSDS are set out in the MHSDS v4.0 (DCB0011) information standard. This defines the data items, definitions and associated value sets to be extracted or derived from local information systems.

Service providers must conform fully with the information standard. Service providers must give full consideration to the scope of the data set to ensure the services they deliver are represented completely in the data set.

MHSDS intermediate database

The intermediate database (IDB) is a tool which enables the collation of data for submission to the MHSDS. It is a Microsoft Access database and data must be provided in this format. Once all data has been uploaded to the IDB, NHS Digital can extract the data as a whole and begin processing it.

The most recent IDB for v4 of the MHSDS can be found on the NHS Digital Technology Reference data Update Distribution (TRUD) pages for which you need to create an account and log in. The XML extract schemas are also available on the TRUD pages under the category "Data Set Development Services XML Extract Schemas".

TRUD is a website hosted by NHS Digital. It provides a mechanism for NHS Digital to license and distribute reference data to interested parties. This is the preferred terminology distribution method of NHS Digital.

Once registered, the IDB is located via the ‘Data Set Development Services Tools’ link and new users will need to click on "licences" which will enable a "download" link to open.

Access mental health services data

NHS Digital makes MHSDS data publicly available in a number of statistical releases. These will be of interest to a range of users including:

  • service providers
  • commissioners
  • patients
  • researchers
  • agencies
  • the wider public

Read about the Mental Health Services Statistics (MHSDS) Monthly Reports.     

Providers and commissioners can download record level extracts of their own MHSDS data by logging into the SDCS Cloud.

Read more about how to access MHSDS data.

Monthly submission dates

MHSDS data must be submitted monthly.

From April 2020 NHS Digital is implementing a multiple submission window model for MHSDS which will enable the resubmission of data throughout the financial year.

Dates are subject to review with at least three months’ notice given for any changes.

2019/20 data

2019/20 data should be submitted to SDCS Cloud using MHSDS v4.0 IDB and in accordance with the timetable below.

Following the implementation of the multiple submission window model providers will optionally be able to submit/resubmit data for each month of 2019/20 from April 2020 to 21 May 2020. The exact date this functionality will be implemented in April will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Activity month Submission window opens Submission window closes (11:59pm)
December 2019 (R) & January 2020 (P) 1 February 2020 20 February 2020
January 2020 (R) & February 2020 (P) 1 March 2020 19 March 2020
February 2020 (R) & March 2020 (P) 1 April 2020 22 April 2020
March 2020 (R) 1 May 2020 21 May 2020
April 2019 to March 2020 (each month of data must be submitted in a separate file) April 2020 21 May 2020

P = primary submission

R = refresh - the refresh submission is the last chance to amend data for the reporting period.

Provider and Commissioner extracts will be made available as soon as possible after the submission window closes.

2020/21 data

2020/21 data should be submitted to SDCS Cloud using MHSDS v4.1 IDB.

Data for 2020/21 can start to be submitted from 1 June 2020. Providers will be able to submit MHSDS data to SDCS Cloud continuously throughout the year and a cut of any data submitted by 11:59pm on the 14th working day of each month will be processed. A final cut of 2020/21 data will be taken at 23.59 on 21 May 2021.

Providers must continue to submit a month’s data at least once in the first two submission months (the current primary and refresh submission windows). MHSDS data will continue to be used in the current range of products and many of these will use the updated data available during the year. However, only data submitted during the first two submission months will be used for CQUIN payments, in-year NHS England performance monitoring, and published in the monthly official statistics. Any data submitted after the first two submission windows will be used to generate final statistics at the end of the year but will not be published in-year.

Activity month
(Each month of data must be submitted in a separate file)
Cut of data taken at: (11:59pm)
April to May 2020 Thursday 18 June 2020
April to June 2020 Monday 20 July 2020
April to July 2020 Thursday 20 August 2020
April to August 2020 Friday 18 September 2020
April to September 2020 Tuesday 20 October 2020
April to October 2020 Thursday 19 November 2020
April to November 2020 Friday 18 December 2020
April to December 2020 Thursday 21 January 2021
April 2020 to January 2021 Thursday 18 February 2021
April 2020 to February 2021 Thursday 18 March 2021
April 2020 to March 2021 Thursday 22 April 2021
April 2020 to March 2021 Friday 21 May 2021


Related pages

  1. internal

    Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics

    This monthly statistical release makes available the most recent MHSDS data from January 2016 onwards and replaces the Monthly MHLDS Reports (last published in February). The release provides the most up to date information available about care given to users of NHS funded secondary mental health, learning disability and autism services for all ages in England.

  2. internal

    Mental health data hub

    The Mental Health Data Hub is a collection of interactive dashboards and useful links covering mental health data in England.

Last edited: 24 February 2020 8:13 am