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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

NHS digital, data and technology standards

The NHS Transformation Directorate at NHS England and NHS Improvement is now managing the work relating to the implementation of standards, and the information on this page is provided for reference only. 

Information about the current work on the implementation of standards, including a draft strategy (published April 2022) outlining how standards will support ‘interoperability across the NHS’, is available on the Faculty of Clinical Informatics website.

The NHS digital, data and technology standards framework pages have been retired. You can view a version of them via The National Archives.

IT systems in healthcare must ‘talk’ to each other

Greater standardisation of data, infrastructure, platforms and APIs will create a health and care system which is more joined-up, safer and more efficient. 

Connected systems ensure that clinicians have immediate access to relevant and appropriate patient data from care providers and settings. Data can be communicated between systems with absolute fidelity, eliminating misinformation and misunderstandings. 

We will also increasingly be able to provide citizens and patients with direct and immediate access to their medical records.

Getting it right - provide your feedback

This framework is the start of the journey, but we will only get it right through close collaboration with the health and care system and suppliers. Additional content and guidance will be added over time and will evolve through partnership with technologists and industry partners across the system. Placeholders have been included in the framework to indicate where more detail will be provided.

Your insight and experience is essential for ensuring this framework works for the health and care system. Please contribute via our collaboration tool to let us know your views on the framework, the standards identified, the challenges of implementation and opportunities for enabling and supporting adoption.

We recognise that the implementation journey is complex. Through consultation we will learn in detail what the challenges are for different parties and focus on providing clear specifications, detailed guidance and extensive support throughout the implementation.

For any enquiries about the NHS digital, data and technology framework, please contact us at using the subject line ‘NHS standards framework'.

A vision for a tech-driven NHS

These standards are a vital component of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s Vision for Technology.

The Secretary of State has set out plans to ensure:

  • truly joined-up health and care, designed around the needs of patients and their care networks, where we integrate physical and digital services, and achieve better, safer, more targeted care
  • a safe and secure data infrastructure that protects the health and care system and patients
  • local organisations are able to make the right technology choices for their own area, while also maintaining high quality systems than can communicate across the entire NHS

This will create a joined-up system which positions the UK as a global leader in health-tech and research, producing safe and cost-effective technology that delivers better outcomes for patients, the NHS and social care. Having the right standards in place is crucial to achieving this.

Last edited: 2 March 2023 8:43 am