MHSDS is a regular return of data generated by providers of Community and Mental Health services in the course of delivering mental health, learning disability and autism services to people of all ages in England. The original version of the dataset was first mandated in April 2003 and is acknowledged as the national source of administrative data about NHS funded secondary mental health services for secondary uses. Submission of the dataset is a requirement of the NHS Contract for mental health, learning disability and autism services.
The dataset has gone through a number of version changes since April 2003 in response to changes to legislation, service models and payment mechanisms. The scope has also been expanded to include independent sector providers of NHS funded mental health services (from April 2010), learning disabilities and autism services (September 2014) and, since January 2016, mental health services for children and young people. The current version was approved by Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) in October 2018 for implementation from 1 April 2019. Further information on the MHSDS and on the Information Standard can be found at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-sets/mental-health-services-data-set.
This section aims to provide users with an evidence based assessment of the quality of the statistical output of the MHSDS Monthly Reports publication by reporting against those of the nine European Statistical System (ESS) quality dimensions and principles1 appropriate to this output.
In doing so, this meets our obligation to comply with the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) Code of Practice for Official Statistics, particularly Principle 4, Practice 2 which states:
“Ensure that official statistics are produced to a level of quality that meets users’ needs, and that users are informed about the quality of statistical outputs, including estimates of the main sources of bias and other errors and other aspects of the European Statistical System definition of quality”.
For each dimension this section briefly describes how this applies to the publication. We will continue to provide clear and comprehensive information about the methods used in our analysis and the quality of the data to assist users in interpreting our reports. More detailed background information will be presented once the quality of the data has been investigated further.
1 The original quality dimensions are: relevance, accuracy and reliability, timeliness and punctuality, accessibility and clarity, and coherence and comparability; these are set out in Eurostat Statistical Law. However more recent quality guidance from Eurostat includes some additional quality principles on: output quality trade-offs, user needs and perceptions, performance cost and respondent burden, and confidentiality, transparency and security.