Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

The NHSBSA's responses to Freedom of Information requests. read more


Open Government Licence 2.0 (United Kingdom) [Open Data]


Thank you for your request for information about the following:

‘Many thanks for the information with reference to FOI 01266.

Could you now please provide the same information for the 3 months from March, April and May at a 3 month summary level. Again only unique patients should be included even if they have had a prescription more than once.

This will show the total patients rather than those in a single month.’

Your request was received on 23 August 2023 and has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


A copy of the information is attached.

Data Source

NHSBSA Information Services Data Warehouse

Time Period

Data covers prescribing between March 2023 and May 2023 inclusive.


This release contains information on the number of unique patients prescribed one or more items of an appliance from the BNF sections listed below, or the list or two-piece ostomy systems as supplied by the requestor, in ICBs and sub-ICB locations (SICBLs) in England within the time period set out above.

Prescribing Organisation

Data shown for prescribing in ICBs and SICBLs in England, in all settings, where dispensed in the community. The data is presented at ICB and SICBL level separately, with unique patient counts calculated at each level. Non-SICBL prescribing (e.g. in secondary care settings where dispensed in the community) is not included.

Dispensing Organisation

No restrictions have been placed on dispensing location.


Data is shown for prescribing of appliances in the following BNF sections:

2335 Colostomy Bags

2360 Ileostomy Bags

2394 Two Piece Ostomy Systems (selected presentations only).

2396 Urostomy Bags

A full list of those presentations included in the analysis has been included alongside this release.

Patient Data

Patients who could not be identified by means of a valid NHS number on the prescription form have been excluded. In the context of this analysis (time period, organisation level and included appliances), 98.46% of items can be attributed to an identifiable patient. The figures for the number of identifiable patients should not be combined and reported at any other level than provided as this may result in the double-counting of patients.

NHSBSA Prescription Services process prescriptions and information is then used to make payments to pharmacists and appliance contractors (in England) for prescriptions dispensed in primary care settings. This involves processing approximately 1 billion prescription items and payments totalling over £9 billion each year. The information gathered from this process is then used to provide information on costs and trends in prescribing in England and Wales to over 25,000 registered NHS and Department of Health users.


The data excludes

Items not dispensed, disallowed and those returned to the contractor for further clarification.

Prescriptions prescribed and dispensed in Prisons, Hospitals and Private prescriptions.

Items prescribed but not presented for dispensing or not submitted to NHS Prescription Services by the dispenser.

If you have any queries regarding the data provided, or if you plan on publishing the data, please contact ensuring you quote the above reference. This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

If you plan on producing a press or broadcast story based upon the data please contact This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and is subject to NHSBSA copyright. This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence detailed at:

Should you wish to re-use the information you must include the following statement:

“NHSBSA Information Services Data Warehouse , NHSBSA Copyright 2023” This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence:

Failure to do so is a breach of the terms of the licence.

Information you receive which is not subject to NHSBSA Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated.

Please obtain their permission before reproducing any third party (non NHSBSA Copyright) information.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Contact Information Governance
Version 1.0
State active
Last Updated September 19, 2023, 14:15 (UTC)
Created September 19, 2023, 14:13 (UTC)