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Data quality

Data Quality Maturity Index (DQMI)

The DQMI is a quarterly publication about data quality in the NHS, which provides data submitters with timely and transparent information.

Links to all of the DQMI publications, the associated methodology documents and the interactive report can be found below:

August 2017

Comorbidity Diagnostic Persistence

Diagnostic codes for conditions that do not remit should not be lost from patient records over time - this "diagnostic persistence" is a measure of data quality. The below factsheet highlights the proportion of patient episodes that include, or omit, a code for one of five clinical diagnoses where there is reason to expect that a code should continue to be recorded. We reviewed diagnostic codes for all episodes of hospital care over a three month period, and then looked back to compare whether a relevant code was previously recorded.

Note: The Analysis is to show diagnostic coding for conditions that do not remit should not be lost from patient records over time - this "diagnostic persistence" is a measure of data quality, it is not to show poor diagnosis or treatment of conditions.

May 2017

February 2017

November 2016

August 2016

May 2016

Our Role in Data Quality

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 (section 266) states that our statutory data quality role is to assess the extent to which the data we collect meets defined national standards and to publish the results of the assessments. In addition, we may give advice or guidance on data quality relating to the collection, analysis, publication or other dissemination of data and information.

Our pdf icon Data Quality Assurance Strategy 2015-2020 [47kb] sets out how we will fulfil these responsibilities.

Assurance and Governance

DQA Steering Group

Data Quality Assurance (DQA) activity is governed by the DQA Steering Group who meet every two months to provide overall strategic direction for DQA. The group is made up of internal members, as well as external representatives from Care Quality Commission, Department of Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement. We are working to ensure that the provider community are also represented at the DQA Steering Group. The group's pdf icon Terms of Reference [571kb]  are available for reference, and any queries about the group should be directed to

DQA Provider Forum

A DQA Provider Forum meets quarterly with representatives from 20 provider organisations from around the country. The forum is supported by a national Provider E-Forum enabling further engagement from over 100 active members.

DQA User Forum

The DQA User Forum meets quarterly with representatives from a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Commissioning Support Units (CSUs), NHS England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The Forum is in its early stages but has already seen some very positive actions come out of the first meeting to proactively support the improvement of data quality.

Performance Evidence Delivery Framework

NHS Digital recommends the use of a supportive pdf icon Performance evidence delivery framework [490kb] (version 2) designed to help data providers to improve their level of data quality by enhancing their own local processes. Aspects of the framework have been used successfully in an Acute Trust environment, leading to an improved understanding of the importance of data quality alongside an improvement in the quality of data itself.

To provide feedback on this version of the framework, and help improve it, please contact the DQA team.

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