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

Online and video consultation undertaken in general practice data collection

NHS Digital is collecting data from online and video consultation suppliers of general practices to standardise the collection and provide information to local commissioners and practices.


The Online Consultation / Video Consultation (OC/VC) extended data collection goal is to support understanding of demand and activity in general practice. The capture of all OC/VC data in Primary Care will ensure practices are paid for activity, and to demonstrate the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan objectives. Accurate and timely capture of this data supports GP practices and local commissioners to plan and provide implementation support, as well as make more informed procurement decisions. Moreover, nationally it will help with understanding usage and shaping future policy.

The collection of OC/VC data will allow practices and PCNs that choose to participate in the Investment and Impact Fund (IIF) to understand their position in relation to the IIF indicator for using online consultation systems and to receive payment when services are delivered. Data for this indicator will also be published alongside other payment indicator data.

The OC/VC data specification outlines the data items we wish to collect this covers the following:

  • data items that system suppliers have already provided in previous collections
  • data items previously not collected
  • items that are for future consideration

The data collection process comes directly from online and video consultation system suppliers and is shared automatically with NHS England on a weekly basis to enable understanding of online consultation activity nationally, as well as use for the IIF OC/VC payment indicator. The collection replaces the previous manual daily submissions methods. The OC/VC data may be used to incentivise and reward GP practices.

Submission guidance 

The OC/VC submission guidance outlines how the system suppliers should send the data to NHS Digital.


Template files

The OC/VC data can be submitted in any of the following file formats:

  • JSON
  • XML
  • CSV

Weekly submissions

JSON files

Use the content in this release for OC/VC submissions via JSON files.


Sample XML files

Use the content in this release for OC/VC submissions via XML files.


Incident data

OC aggregate data

OC practice data

OC record data

VC aggregate data

VC practice data

VC record data

Bulk submission

Use the content in this release for OC/VC bulk submission via CSV files.

Incident data

OC aggregate data

OC practice fata

OC record data

VC aggregate data

VC record data

Submission methods

The submission of OC/VC data is to be made through the Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH). Find out about the MESH types available

You will need a MESH mailbox account and this can be requested using the online form.

To authenticate your secure MESH mailbox, you will need to hold a certificate.

For additional technical documentation email:

Data specification

The OC/VC data specification defines the data items that are required from OC/VC system suppliers as part of the OC/VC extended data collection.


OC/VC dashboard users

OC/VC data will be passed to NHS England colleagues from NHS Digital and some data quality work will need to be completed. We are working closely with OC/VC suppliers and will be releasing a new version of the dashboard when this new data is ready.

In the meantime, please do not approach suppliers directly for data. Thank you for your patience.

Contact us

For further information about this collection, email:

To enable us to deal with your enquiry effectively please can you make sure you include the following information when you contact us:

  • organisation name
  • MESH mailbox
  • environment (test or production)
  • date and time of submission
  • number of files submitted
  • description of the issue

Learn more

Last edited: 26 January 2023 6:02 pm