How the data is collected
Since July 2020 NHS Digital has established a collection of data from electronic and paper prescriptions submitted to the NHSBSA for reimbursement each month.
The data comprises prescriptions for medicines that are dispensed or supplied by community pharmacists, appliance contractors and dispensing doctors in England.
The data also includes:
- prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors, for medicines personally administered in England
- prescriptions written in England and dispensed outside of England
- prescriptions written in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey but dispensed in England
Data includes prescriptions issued by prescribers in:
- general practice
- community clinics
- hospital clinics
- community nursing services
There are around 90 to 100 million rows of patient-level data in this collection per month. Each row represents each medicine or appliance on a prescription and includes personal data (for example NHS number) and special category data (data concerning health).
There is no additional collection burden placed on front line staff as the data is held by NHSBSA. The data is limited to prescriptions submitted for reimbursement. Prescriptions issued but not dispensed and prescriptions dispensed or supplied but not claimed are not included.
The NHSBSA provide the following documents on their website that identify the quality control procedures in place and the limitations of them. The second link is a useful summary of the data and process flow of prescriptions data.
Quality Assurance of Administrative Data (QAAD) Assessment: Prescription Data
QAAD Assessment - Prescription Data: Appendix A
Last edited: 20 January 2022 8:55 am