NHS Data Model and Dictionary Service Reference Data Consultation

Closed 26 Jun 2014

Opened 29 May 2014


Currently the NHS Data Model and Dictionary contains many Data Sets which between them, on rough calculation, comprise approximately 2,000 Data Elements, supporting a wide range of activities including:

  • Local and national resource management and performance management
  • Monitoring Quality Indicators, service agreements and Health Improvement Programmes
  • Planning and commissioning activity
  • National policy analysis, evaluation, monitoring and fair access to healthcare
  • Clinical Governance
  • Understand the health needs of the population and revealing health trends over time
  • Informing patient choice and self management of care
  • National Tariff Payments System
  • Waiting Times

Some of the content of the NHS Data Model and Dictionary is increasingly being used to populate electronic messages and health information systems, especially the National Code lists which are associated with individual items within the Dictionary. This has given rise to a demand for Data Dictionary content in a form that can be readily consumed for message design, as well as for data quality checks prior to submission of Data Sets.

Why your views matter

The NHS Data Model and Dictionary Service want to establish a standard reference data file format that can be used for all data sets.

The consultation is to review a draft reference data file for the Commissioning Data Set Version CDS 6-2 Type 020 - Outpatient CDS, which contains the proposed reference data items in the proposed file types that will fulfil the future provision of reference data for national data sets.

The reference data file has been provided in comma-separated values (CSV) and Extensible Markup Language (XML) file formats for the consultation.  An explanation of the reference data items can be found in the ‘File Specification’ document.

This consultation is aimed at:

  • system suppliers
  • end users of systems
  • data collection and analysis organisations

The consultation consists of a series of questions related to the reference data within the files provided.


  • All Areas


  • Health IT System Suppliers
  • Heads of Information
  • Information Managers
  • Data Quality Managers


  • Informatics