SUS data extraction in the new NHS

On April 1st 2013, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) were shut down and the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) started up. However, as CCGs and many CSUs no longer have direct access to SUS, they must get their data from Data Services for Commissioners Regional Offices (DSCRO) .

There are new rules in place regarding both SEM and PbR Mart extracts and some of our customers have encountered issues with the new system, mainly related to the structure and format of the data feeds.

The kind of issues encountered include:

  • Access to SUS being locked out or limited
  • Multiple provider downloads, where there used to be just one, combined feed
  • Control files not provided with data files
  • Supplementary files not provided
  • Pseudonymised NHS Numbers provided in a format which is too long for import

Here are some guidelines that you may find helpful when you are preparing data for import into Clarity Finance:

  • If possible, ask to be registered for a single role with your DSCRO. This will enable a single download file for all providers.
  • If you have to use multiple files, you can combine them using the SUS File Merger application in Clarity Finance. This will validate each file before combining them to ensure they have the same number of columns in the same order.
  • Pseudonymised data is being treated slightly differently by different DSCROs. Let your DSCRO know the column width in Clarity Finance for the applicable fields, so that they can set up their algorithm to match.

If you have encountered any issues with SUS extracts since the changeover, or have some advice to share about it, please drop us a line.

We have put together an up-to-date SUS Data Download FAQ sheet for Clarity Finance, which you can download from here.