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Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.

Informatics systems for the collection or analysis of information Directions 2016

Directions given by the Secretary of State for Health requiring NHS Digital to establish and operate informatics systems for the collection or analysis of information, and to exercise systems delivery functions in respect of the Electronic Prescription Service, the Health and Social Care Network, NHS Choices, N3, the NHS E-Referral Service, the Secondary Uses Service and Spine 2.


To novate specified information and technology contracts established under the previous Department of Health informatics portfolio to NHS Digital with effect from 1st December 2016. These Directions supplement:

  • The Spine Services (No. 2) Directions 2014.
  • The Systems Delivery Functions for NHS Choices and Additional Systems Delivery Functions for NHS Choices Directions 2013.

Learn more about this Direction

Further information

internal Health and Social Care Network (HSCN)

The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) provides a reliable, efficient and flexible way for health and care organisations to access and exchange electronic information.

internal Message Exchange for Social Care and Health

Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) provides the ability to share data directly between health and care organisations and is the nationally recognised mechanism for this method of data sharing.

internal NHS e-Referral Service

The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) combines electronic booking with a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments. Patients can choose their initial hospital or clinic appointment, which they can then book online (a telephone service is also available) or in the GP surgery at the point of referral.

internal NHSmail

Sign in to your secure NHS email. NHSmail is a secure email service approved for sharing sensitive information.

internal Secondary Uses Service (SUS)

Our service allows commissioners and providers to use data for secondary uses such as planning, commissioning and calculating payments.

Last edited: 24 November 2021 3:43 pm