The Minimum Data Set (MDS) for UK specialist palliative care services was developed in 1995 to provide annual data on palliative care services. Data collected is used for local and national purposes including service management, monitoring and audit, the commissioning of services and the development of national policy. The emergence of Payment by Results and HealthCare Resource Groups, which will have an impact on the funding processes, together with identified limitations of the current MDS resulted in a project to revise the MDS. An action research approach was used for the project and had distinctive phases including modifying the MDS, a pilot phase and an expert panel consultation. Modifications to all the sections of the MDS and changes to terminology were made. The action research approach enabled revisions made based upon a national consensus and met the changing provision of specialist palliative care services for the UK.