Commissioning Data Set Version 6.3 Consultation

Closed 19 Mar 2021

Opened 16 Feb 2021


The Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) are patient level, secondary use data sets providing information about NHS provided secondary care activity. CDS is used for a variety of purposes, including national reporting through Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the allocation of payments through the National Tariff Payment System and measurement of waiting times through Referral to Treatment (RTT). The data is submitted through the Secondary Uses Service (SUS).

The CDS v6.3 changes are mainly designed to update CDS in line with current clinical and data recording practices, as well as to support recent policy initiatives and enable conformance with other information standards and legislation introduced since CDS v6.2 went live.

The intention is for CDS v6.3 to be a minor, ‘tactical’ release, in order for changes to be made quickly to allow the flow of SNOMED CT codes (including recently authored codes that relate to COVID-19) as soon as possible. In order to expedite this, requirements that involve major structural changes or large numbers of additional data items have been deferred to a future version.

In summary, the high-level changes in v6.3 include:

  • Introduction of SNOMED CT
  • Removal of Read/CTV-3 structures
  • Changes to conform with other information standards, such as:
    • DCB0028 Treatment Function and Main Specialty Standard
    • DCB3017 Overseas Visitor Charging Category (OVCC)
    • DCB0090 Health and Social Care Organisation Reference Data
    • DCB2094 Sexual Orientation Monitoring Standard
  • Removal of enumerated value lists from XML schema for some data items
  • Various updates to NHS Data Model and Dictionary pages and data items to reflect changes since the CDS was last updated
  • Retirement of redundant CDS types which are no longer utilised or represent duplication
  • Introduction of the ability to submit multiple commissioners and SPECIALISED SERVICE CODE data item, to support specialised commissioning requirements
  • Minor changes to support Outpatient Transformation Programme requirements
  • Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt) changes to support alignment with the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) submissions of data for private patients
  • Additional data items to match and enable linkage with new Ambulance Data Set
  • Enabling the recording of digitalised fit notes in secondary care and reporting of this activity within CDS, in support of the forthcoming DCB3070 eMED3 Fit Notes in Secondary Care information standard
  • Reviewing the scope of CDS, to ensure that any further areas of duplication are reduced or eliminated where practical either in v6.3 or future versions

CDS v6.3 will replace CDS v6.2 (ISB 0092 Amd 16/2010), which was published in September 2012.

Why your views matter

As part of the application to obtain approval from the Data Alliance Partnership Board*, we are asking for feedback on our proposals for CDS v6.3.

Engagement activity has already taken place, but we are asking any interested parties to participate and provide feedback before the final revision of v6.3 is produced. Consultation feedback will be reported back to the DAPB before publication of an Information Standards Notice (ISN) is agreed.

This consultation runs until 7 March 2021 and we are looking to submit our application to the May meeting of the DAPB, with ISN publication in June.

The following documents are available in draft format to support you in considering the consultation questions. We would recommend you review these before embarking on answering the questions in this survey.

  • Draft Change Specification
  • Draft Technical Output Specification (TOS)

These are available to view under the Related documents header below.

Commissioning Data Set (CDS)

More information about CDS can be found on our website here.  

The developer is the Data Set Development Service within NHS Digital.

Note: This consultation is aimed primarily at care providers, system suppliers, middleware providers and care commissioners. However, it is public and therefore open to all people with an interest in secondary care/HES data.

If you prefer to submit a Word version of your response, please email a copy to

All other enquiries about this consultation should be directed to (ref ‘CDS v6.3 consultation’ in the subject line).

NB: The survey includes a small number of questions with a clickable arrow, which include 'More Information' for considering your reply. 

*In November 2020, the Data Coordination Board (DCB) was replaced by a new, cross organisational Data Alliance Partnership. The strategic Board of the Data Alliance Partnership, the DAPB, approves data collections, extractions, and information standards for health and social care in England. Queries about the DAPB should be directed to the DAPB secretariat at


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  • Commissioning Data Sets