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How do I submit data to the Mental Health Services Data Set?

Who should submit data to the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS)?

The MHSDS applies to all service providers and organisations that provide specialist secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder services.

How do I implement the data set?

The MHSDS defines an output standard; it does not represent a definitive list of data items and values which may need to be captured locally for care delivery, merely a subset of data requiring local extraction for central submission for analysis purposes. Service Providers have the flexibility to adopt any local data collection process or system which is able to collect and output the data as described in the data set specification. The type of service delivery locally will determine the data collected and so able to be submitted centrally. For example providers not delivering outpatient services will not be able to submit outpatient data.

The data set is not a patient care record but is based on clinical and operational information. Providers should therefore look to re-use their clinical and operational systems to extract MHSDS data.

Read more about the implementation of the data set in the Implementation Guidance.

What do service providers need to do?

Mental health, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder services that are either mandated, or opt, to flow data must be fully conformant with the standard. Submission of the data set is guided by the data set scope, which describes for instance the client age group, services received and funding streams which require submission. Providers must give full consideration to the scope of the data set to ensure complete representation of the services delivered to be included in the data set.

What do suppliers of IT systems need to do?

Suppliers of mental health, learning disability and autism spectrum disorder service IT systems should ensure that provider systems are able to capture and/or derive the data items defined in the MHSDS. Provider systems should be able to generate extracts which comply with MHSDS and BSP submission requirements.  

How do I register to submit data to the MHSDS?

Service providers must submit MHSDS data via the Open Exeter Bureau Service Portal using a registered Open Exeter account. This site is only accessible via an n3 connection to the NHS network.

Read more about how to submit data via the Bureau Service Portal in the Technical Guidance.  

What are the submission dates?

MHSDS v1.1

Data is required to be submitted monthly, the timetable for which is shown below:

MonthSubmission Window Opens

Submission Window Closes

 (Midnight of)

Extracts Available From


July (R) & August (P)


August (R) & September (P)


September (R) & October (P)


October (R) & November (P)


November (R) & December (P)

December (R) & January (P)02/02/201724/02/201703/03/2017
January (R) & February (P)03/03/201724/03/201703/04/2016
February (R) & March (P)03/04/201725/04/201703/05/2017
March (R) - April (P) Cancelled**03/05/201722/05/201701/06/2017
April (R) - May (P)01/06/201723/06/201703/07/2017
May(R) & June (P)03/07/201726/07/201703/08/2017
June (R) & July (P)03/08/201724/08/201701/09/2017

** IMPORTANT: April 2017  Primary Submission has been cancelled to facilitate the transition between MHSDS v1.1 and MHSDS v2.0. April Refresh submission will be submitted using the new MHSDS v2.0 IDB - which can be requested from the NHS Digital enquiries team.

MHSDS Intermediate Database

The submission of MHSDS data must always be undertaken using the latest Intermediate Database (IDB). The latest IDB template to use for MHSDS submissions is available to download from the Bureau Service Portal.

Alternatively, the latest copy can be requested from NHS Digital's contact centre. Please send an email to with "MHSDS IDB" in the subject line.

Current IDB Version

Version Number

Release DateStatus
mhsdsmasteridbversion1_1_01.mdb1_1_0117/03/2016Current - For MHSDS v 1.1 submissions from 31/05/2016 onwards
TBCTBCMarch 2017Future- for MHSDS v2.0 submissions from 01/06/2017 onwards

Bureau Service Portal Known Issues for MHSDS v1.1

Where a system issue is identified, the issue will be communicated to users through the below Known Issues Update. This document will contain interim guidance, where required, and provide an update on the status of resolution. This is a live document that will be updated as issues become resolved. Please review this document before making submissions.


Last Updated

pdf icon MHSDS Known Issues Update [498kb]


How do I get more information about submissions?

For further detailed guidance about the BSP and submission process, please contact the Open Exeter Helpdesk at:
Tel: 01392 251289

For all other queries relating to MHSDS please contact the Community & Mental Health team via the NHS Digital contact centre at:

Tel: 0300 303 5678


How do I view the data?

Providers and commissioners can download record level extracts of their own MHSDS data by logging into the Bureau Service Portal.

Read more about how to access MHSDS data.

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