Accessibility statement

Central Hall, York University

Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS)




The Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS) is a mandatory dataset, which should record all contacts with secondary and specialist mental health services in England. The MHSDS covers services provided in hospitals, outpatient clinics and in the community, where the majority of patients are treated, and covers care for children, young people and adults. Data submission is mandatory for NHS funded care, irrespective of whether the service provider is from the NHS or the independent sector. 

MHSDS can be linked to the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the dataset covering hospital admissions in the English NHS. Note that in the same week, the Centre for Health Economics (CHE) will be offering a course about Analysing Patient-Level Data using Hospital Episode Statistics (HES).

The MHSDS was introduced in 2016 and replaced the Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Data Set (MHLDDS), changing the structure of the datasets and, for the first time, includes records on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 

The MHSDS can be used for commissioning, audits, research, service planning, monitoring policies, performance management, benchmarking and payment systems. Users include policy makers, commissioners and researchers. 

The complexity of the data model makes the use of MHSDS particularly challenging. The datasets in the MHSDS present issues common to other health datasets (e.g. HES), such as complex coding, missing data, duplicates and costing challenges. Additionally, the data are not immediately amenable to analysis, which means that one of the first decisions to make is how to bring together the relevant information from the different datasets. Therefore, the use of the MHSDS requires a significant investment in learning about the data before being able to undertake meaningful analyses that can be relevant to the different potential uses and users of the data. 

Please note that the unique structure of the dataset might make it harder to translate the knowledge acquired to another dataset in a different country.

Researchers at the University of York who use MHSDS will introduce participants to the ways they have found to overcome the data challenges described above and will stimulate discussion to determine whether there are alternative ways of analysing the data. We will highlight data quality issues throughout the workshop and discuss their implications. There will be several hands-on sessions using an artificial dataset, where participants will be able to see what the cleaned and re-structured data look like and try some analyses on it. Stata code for the data preparation (not covered in the hands-on sessions) and the analyses will be provided. 

There will also be presentations from people in the health service such as a mental health provider and a mental health commissioner on how the data are collected, quality checked and used.


The workshop aims for participants to understand:

  • how the MHSDS data are collected
  • the MHSDS data structure and how to manipulate it
  • how to identify patient groups
  • how to analyse key variables
  • the costing of mental health services 
  • the limitations of the data


This workshop is offered to people working in the public sector, academia and the private sector. It is suitable for analysts who wish to harness the power of non-randomised episode-level patient data to shed further light on such things as patient costs and pathways, outcomes and provider performance. The workshop is suitable for individuals working in NHS hospitals, commissioning organisations, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and other government bodies, consultancy companies and for health care researchers and PhD students. Overseas applicants may also find the tuition can be applied to similar scenarios in their own country, but must be aware that the tuition and exercises relate directly to MHSDS data, which is created for, and used in, England.

The tutors will be presenting examples of software code (Stata) that can be used to program certain data tasks. However, familiarity with Stata is not required as the focus of the course is not on coding but on understanding MHSDS data and learning how to approach and address various research questions drawing information from MHSDS. However, participants may find it useful to have Stata installed on their laptop (for a free short term licence see here) in case they want to play around with the codes and ask questions during the breaks.  

On the first day, participants are strongly encouraged to bring their laptops to be able to access all the material.  We feel that the most efficient way that you can participate in the applied exercises is to bring along your own laptop with a recent version of Microsoft Excel™ installed. It may also be of benefit to you if you bring along an external mouse to use. If you are from outside the UK, please remember to bring with you an adapter for UK power supply. There will be a limited number of power sockets available for laptops, so having sufficient battery power will be helpful.  The second day of the workshop will be held in a PC room with fully equipped desktop PC's and participants will be given temporary user names and passwords to access the system and therefore laptops will not be required.  

Workshop dates

Workshop dates

  • No dates planned during 2024


Example programme

Day 1:  (10:00 – 17:30 + Dinner)

Venue: ARRC Building ARC/014, University of York

  • 10.00-10.30 Registration / coffee
  • 10.30-11.30 Workshop introduction and welcome
  • 11.30-12.00 Inputting to the MHSDS – the mental health provider perspective
  • 12.00-13.00 Lunch
  • 13.00-14.30 Introduction to the MHSDS
  • 14.30-15.00 Use of the MHSDS by mental health commissioners
  • 15.00-15.30 Coffee break
  • 15.30-16.30 Introduction to the use of the MHSDS
  • 16.30-17.30 Application 1: How to identify patient groups
  • 19:00 Dinner  


Day 2:  (09:30 – 16:00)

Venue: Alcuin East Wing AEW/004, Alcuin College University of York

  • 09.30-10.15 Activity in the MHSDS and its cost
  • 10.15-11.00 Application 2: How to cost the MHSDS
  • 11.00-11.30 Coffee break
  • 11.30-13.00 Application 3: Waiting time targets
  • 13.00-14.00 Lunch
  • 14.00-15.30 Application 4: Follow up after hospital discharge
  • 15.30-16.00 Closing Session
  • 16:00-16.30 Coffee to go


Presenters and tutors

Examples of presenters include speakers from the NHS e.g. a Commissioning Support Unit and a Mental Health Trust.  


Registrations are not currently open.

Before you register on this workshop, please ensure you have secured the appropriate funding from your Organisation.
Registration is done online by Credit/Debit Card for instant payment and a guaranteed secured place on this workshop (please note the University of York does not accept American Express cards).

If you or your organisation cannot pay by credit/debit card, please email the Workshop Administrators.

Registration fees are payable in advance of the workshop dates.

We regret that we cannot reserve or hold workshop places in advance of booking or payment.

Our short training courses do not carry any formal CPD (continuing professional development) accreditation.


Workshop Fees:  

Fees are fully inclusive of tuition, lunches, workshop dinner and materials, but do not include accommodation. VAT is not payable. Transferring between workshops is not possible.

  Public/academic sector  Private/commercial sector 
Course Fee £ £

* Promotional Codes for Public Sector discounted rate: We offer a public sector discounted rate which only applies to not-for-profit organisations (e.g. universities, charities, hospitals), government agencies and other public bodies worldwide. If you are eligible for this rate, please enter the promotional code letters that are shown beneath the public sector discounted fees in the table above, into the 'Promo Code' box when you complete your online registration, otherwise the discounted rate will not be applied.

Full-time PhD students can apply for a subsidised place at £200 (VAT not payable). Please complete this PhD application form. Places are allocated at the discretion of the organisers.  Once you have completed and submitted the form, you will be contacted at the end of April with the outcome of your application.

Our short training courses do not carry any formal CPD (continuing professional development) accreditation.

Cancellations and Alterations

A full refund of workshop fees (less 10% administrative charge) will be made for cancellations received in writing at least one month prior to the workshop. Substitutes can be made but please email new delegate's details when known to the Workshop Administrators. Cancellations made less than one month prior to the workshops are non-refundable/non-changeable.

In the unlikely event that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the workshop has to be cancelled by the University of York, our liability is limited to the refund of workshop fees. We recommend delegates have adequate insurance cover to claim any travel or personal expenses.


You are responsible for arranging your own accommodation.  Unfortunately, campus accommodation is not available - the University STEM Centre can provide updated information.  There are many hotels and guest houses locally (Fulford and Heslington are the closest areas).  Some of these hotels can be viewed on the following websites:  

Visit York

Expedia Fulford Hotels 

Getting Here

Our main campus is in the south east of York within walking and cycling distance of, or a short bus ride from, the city centre.  Our address is: University of York, York, YO10 5DD.

By Bus, rail and taxi

Parking is limited, so we suggest alternative transport where possible. Once you’re here, it's easy to get around campus by bus, bike and foot.

Cars and Parking - Pay and display and short stay parking

Use our interactive Campus Map.  
The area you will require is Zone 3 in red.

For registration and the first day of the workshop, you will require the ARC Foyer which is Alcuin B Block. 
For the workshop on the second day, you will require Alcuin East Wing.

Campus Map - MHSDS APD 2022




Who to contact

  • Tim Glover & Sarah Crust
    Workshop Administrators 
    Tel:  +44 (0)1904 321436
            +44 (0)1904 321469

Workshop dates

  • No dates planned during 2024