Skip Navigation
Search site

We are building you a better website. You might be interested to see the new look here, and let us know what you think.

England's biggest mental health dataset to go monthly

January 25, 2013: Consultation feedback shapes future development of MHMDS analysis

Data collection and releases from the Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMDS) are to become monthly, a Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) consultation report confirms today.

The move, along with several other recommendations made in the report, will help support effective commissioning, payment by results (PbR) and bring further parity between timely mental health and acute care information.

April 2013 activity is due to be the first month collected for the new cycle, with the first monthly report due to be released in the summer. HSCIC will continue to provide support around the submission, and to undertake central processing and analysis of data.

MHMDS, which is England's largest mental health dataset and managed by HSCIC, provides nationally consistent and comparable person-based information to a detailed local level about adult contacts with secondary mental health services.

Today's report summarises the views of more than 160 commissioners, organisations and interested parties who responded to the public consultation, which asked for opinions on how MHMDS data could best be developed and presented to further support users.

The consultation feedback has been invaluable in helping shape further developments, already prompting additional analysis to be published in recent quarterly publications along with further detail around how MHMDS analyses and definitions are constructed.

The annual Mental Health Bulletin, due for release this Spring, is also expected to include:

  • More analysis by provider type, such as by NHS and independent provider.
  • Data at Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) level in an underlying (machine readable) data file.
  • More population-based analysis, using the latest census figures.

HSCIC's mental health team are also set to increase their work with suppliers through more events, workshops, user groups and general communications.

The consultation also pointed to a need for more sophisticated and clinically-meaningful analysis around PbR and clusters. HSCIC hopes to add more of such information to its reports and is working with the Department of Health on PbR outcome measures, including analysis by diagnosis and cluster.

HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: "Consultations are an incredibly important part of the information lifecycle. It is vital that any data we collect is relevant, timely and meets its full potential to benefit patient care.

"It is essential therefore that commissioners, along with other interested parties, have their say on what information can best support them in their role. The development of data should always endeavour to be based on a two-way conversation between those who produce information and those who need to use it."

To view the consultation report, visit:

Notes to editors

1. HSCIC was previously known as the NHS Information Centre. It is England's authoritative, independent source of health and social care information. It works with a wide range of health and social care providers nationwide to provide the facts and figures that help the NHS and social services run effectively. Its role is to collect data, analyse it and convert it into useful information which helps providers improve their services and supports academics, researchers, regulators and policymakers in their work. The HSCIC also produces a wide range of statistical publications each year across a number of areas including: primary care, health and lifestyles, screening, hospital care, population and geography, social care and workforce and pay statistics.

2. For media enquiries please call 0845 257 6990 or email

Close iCM Form