Treatment Function and Main Specialty Standard

Closed 3 Dec 2019

Opened 5 Nov 2019


The National Specialty List covers the Main Specialty and Treatment Function classifications used to support the national reporting and analysis of clinical workforce activity throughout the NHS, through data sets such as the Commissioning Data Sets (CDS). Main Specialty is the specialty within which a consultant is recognised or contracted to the organisation and it is aligned to specialties recognised by the Royal Colleges and Faculties and the General Dental Council.

Treatment Function Codes (TFCs) are a division of clinical work based on main specialties but also incorporating approved sub-specialties and treatment interests used by care professionals. They are used to record and report on activity undertaken, irrespective of the type of healthcare professional who performs it, and are not restricted to consultants. TFCs are used in various national data sets, in particular the Commissioning Data Sets (CDS).

The current list of TFCs includes a number of codes that represent specialised services. Specialised services support people with a range of rare and complex conditions and are commissioned directly by NHS England. Inclusion of specialised services in the TFC list allows specialised commissioning activity to be monitored.

Why your views matter

TFCs are currently governed by the ‘ISB 0028 – National Specialty List’ information standard, which was last updated in 2012.

An update to the standard is planned in order to:

  • clarify the future approach to recording specialised service activity
  • update the scope and inclusion criteria of the standard
  • update the list with new codes, changes to existing codes and the removal of defunct codes
  • update the name of the standard.

The updated standard is expected to be published in mid-2020 for implementation in April 2021 and will be renamed DCB0028 Treatment Function and Main Specialty Standard.

As part of the application to obtain approval from the Data Coordination Board (DCB), we are asking for feedback on our proposal to update the Treatment Function and Main Specialty Standard.

Consultation has already taken place among members of the Treatment Function Maintenance Group (TFMG). The TFMG have discussed and accepted the changes outlined in this proposal.

This consultation runs until 3 December 2019.


Note: If you would like to see the questions in advance of opening the consultation, there is a Word version in the Related section below. You are welcome to use the Word version if you would prefer to submit your responses by email.


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