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Publication, Part of

Learning Disability Services Monthly Statistics, AT: November 2021, MHSDS: September 2021 Final

Official statistics, Experimental statistics

AT data tables - total length of stay

The Assuring Transformation (AT) data tables were updated due to an issue with historic length of stay data being incorrectly calculated in table 2.7 (now removed). This has been replaced with table 3.4 which contains the correct data. Figures for November 2021 were unaffected.

20 December 2021 10:30 AM

Data quality statement - AT


This data quality statement aims to provide users with an evidence based assessment of quality of the statistical output included in this publication. 

It reports against those of the nine European Statistical System (ESS) quality dimensions and principles appropriate to this output. 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.


In doing so, this meets NHS Digital’s obligation to comply with the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) code of practice for statistics and the following principles in particular:

  • Trustworthiness pillar, principle 6 (Data governance) which states “Organisations should look after people’s information securely and manage data in ways that are consistent with relevant legislation and serve the public good.”
  • Quality pillar, principle 3 (Assured Quality) which states “Producers of statistics and data should explain clearly how they assure themselves that statistics and data are accurate, reliable, coherent and timely.”
  • Value pillar, principle 1 (Relevance to Users) which states “Users of statistics and data should be at the centre of statistical production; their needs should be understood, their views sought and acted upon, and their use of statistics supported.”
  • Value pillar, principle 2 (Accessibility) which states “Statistics and data should be equally available to all, not given to some people before others. They should be published at a sufficient level of detail and remain publicly available.”


This dimension covers the degree to which the statistical product meets user needs in both coverage and content.

Data in this publication is presented in a number of ways to meet user needs: web based summary report, and data tables published in Excel and CSV format. In some places the data is presented at NHS England Commissioning Region, Integrated Care System and/or Clinical Commissioning Group level as well as at the national level to allow users to access information about patients in their areas. 

The AT submission status of all commissioners, including which have LDA patients in scope, are included in the AT data tables.

Accuracy and reliability

This dimension covers, with respect to the statistics, their proximity between an estimate and the unknown true value.

Data are collected via the Clinical Audit Platform (CAP) and validated on submission. The validation rules are available in the ‘instruction and guidance notes’ found on the Assuring Transformation web page .

The system is set up such that:

·    For each NHS number there can only be one open episode of care during the period.

·    There can be multiple closed episodes of care for each NHS number within a period.

·    The system is ‘live’ and commissioners are expected to update information in the  system as and when changes occur in the care of a patient who falls within the scope of the collection.

·    Currently NHS Digital analysts take a ‘snap shot’ of the system at the end of each month and use this to report on the position at the end of the month and admissions and discharges within the month.


Although patients can have more than one episode in a period due to short hospital stays, at the end of the reporting period there can only be one open episode per patient. However, due to the retrospective updates, it is possible for duplicates to occur for closed episodes. All duplicate records are removed from the dataset prior to producing the analyses.


CCGs and Hubs are expected to keep records up to date on an ongoing basis. There are two ways that NHS Digital can currently assess if a CCG/Hub has done this:  

1. Has the CCG/Hub made any alterations to any of the records during the period? Or created any new records;

2. If no records have been altered (due to no change in patient circumstances) then has the CCG/Hub selected the ‘submission confirmation’ option to confirm that their data is correct for this period?

Note that in both scenarios above, it may be the Commissioning Support Unit(CSU) who has not updated the data. This report will highlight the number for those responsible for the patients (CCGs/Hubs) and not those responsible for submitting the data (CCGs/Hubs and CSUs).

Therefore, even though a number of organisations may not have updated their records during the month, NHS Digital will use the data currently held in the system and assume this to be accurate. 

Timeliness and punctuality

Timeliness refers to the time gap between publication and the reference period. Punctuality refers to the gap between planned and actual publication dates.

AT data is published monthly, within 1 month of the end of the reporting period.


Accessibility and clarity

Accessibility is the ease with which users are able to access the data, also reflecting the format in which the data are available and the availability of supporting information. Clarity refers to the quality and sufficiency of the metadata, illustrations and accompanying advice.

This publication presents data from the AT collection in the following formats:

  • A summary of findings which presents England level analysis of key measures based on data submitted.
  • Excel data tables covering a wide range of the data covered by the collection. Where possible historic data is refreshed each month to account for updates by data submitters (green tabs). For a small number of tables this is not possible and so the original cut of data is always presented (yellow tabs). If users require the most up-to-date information, then you are strongly advised to use information in the green tab sheets only.
  • A CSV file which presents key measures at England level based on data submitted.
  • A metadata file to accompany the CSV file, which provides information for each measure. This can be found at the bottom of the publication series page.
  • An easy read version of the latest findings. 


Coherence and comparability

Coherence is the degree to which data which have been derived from different sources or methods but refer to the same topic are similar. Comparability is the degree to which data can be compared over time and domain. 

The data presented in this publication are provisional and will change over time, due to the live capture collection methodology allowing data submitters to update patient records retrospectively. Full details of the impact this has on the data presented in this publication are available in data table 6.2.

Data on inpatients with learning disabilities and/or autism are also collected within Mental Health Statistics Data Set (MHSDS). Similar measures from MHSDS are published alongside this release each month as well as some comparators. Work is underway to reconcile the differences between these collections in reporting of such inpatients. It is planned that the MHSDS will become the primary source of LDA information for inpatients in future, once the data has been fully reconciled and the AT data collection is retired.

Annual organisational mergers can effect the comparability of time series data. In order that data continues to be comparable, old commissioner and originating organisation codes are mapped to current ones, and presented as such in the outputs. The organisational structures shown in the data tables are presented as per the latest reporting month. 


Assessment of user needs and perceptions

This dimension covers the processes for finding out about users and uses and their views on the statistical products. 

NHS Digital is keen to gain a better understanding of the users of this publication and of their needs; feedback is welcome and may be sent to (please include ‘Learning Disabilities AT’ in the subject line).


Performance, cost and respondent burden

This dimension describes the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of the statistical output.

This bespoke collection is intended to dual run with the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS) until data can be fully reconciled. The latter is submitted by Providers rather than commissioners. Respondent burden across the NHS will reduce once the AT data collection is retired.


Confidentiality, transparency and security

The procedures and policy used to ensure sound confidentiality, security and transparent practices. 

These publications are subject to a NHS Digital risk assessment prior to issue.

The data contained in this publication are Official Statistics. The code of practice for statistics is adhered to from collecting the data to publishing.

Details of relevant procedure and policy information can be found below:

NHS Digital Statistical Governance Policy

NHS Digital Freedom of Information Process

NHS Digital Statement of Compliance with Pre-Release Order

NHS Digital Disclosure Control Procedure

Last edited: 20 December 2021 9:33 am