Skip to main content Skip to footer

Data download, NHSBSA Open Data Portal and One Drug Database (ODD) update 19 February 2020

The NHS currently releases detailed information on prescribing of medications via two datasets, both of which are sourced from NHSBSA data:

•Detailed Prescribing Information (DPI), released by NHS Business Services Authority via the ISP portal.

•Practice Level Prescribing in England (PLP), released by NHS Digital on website.

There is inconsistency between these two datasets, in terms of the level of organisational detail available and the volume of data published in each.

We are aligning these two datasets to create one single source of data with the new dataset based on the Detailed Prescribing Information dataset with additions from the Practice Level Prescribing dataset. We previously communicated this change in an earlier news article which included a link to a test file.

The benefits of this will be to provide end users with a single, accurate and comprehensive source of prescribing information, which will increase consistency and improve data accessibility. Our intention was to publish this combined dataset, to coincide with the release of December 2019 data and the implementation of One Drug Database project where we are changing the underlying databases which produces the datasets.  This was due to take place over weekend of 8 and 9 February 2020.

Unfortunately, during the implementation phase we encountered a technical issue that has prevented the update of the One Drug Database project being completed. 

Therefore, as a result of this technical issue we are delaying the combination of the two downloadable datasets for a further month.

PLP data will continue to be available in the current format via NHS Digital with data up until December 2019.

The PLP data released by NHS Digital in February 2020 (December 2019 data) will be the final release in the series.  

DPI data will continue to be available in the current format via ISP until the One Drug Database project is concluded.

At the beginning of March 2020, the combined data download (PLP and DPI data) from January 2014 to December 2019 will be published in a new Open Data platform with the January 2020 data refresh mid – March.  

The NHSBSA Open Data Portal will be our new data sharing platform that uses CKAN, an open source software solution that provides tools for publishing, sharing, finding and using data. It powers a variety of official and community data portals worldwide including portals for local, national and international government.

You will be able to access datasets, published on our Open Data Portal via the CKAN API. In addition we will also be publishing some basic API query templates in R and Python in the near future on the NHSBSA GitLab to help get new users of the platform up and running.  We will publish more information about the portal soon.

The non-combined DPI data will continue to be available to download from ISP, albeit in the new ODD format for an additional month as a contingency in case systems have not been modified to host the combined dataset.