Skip to main content

Legitimate Relationship Service - HL7 V3 API

Access patients' Legitimate Relationships using our HL7 V3 API.


Use this API to access a patient's legitimate relationships. You might want to do this as part of your information governance approach when accessing the Summary Care Record.

You can:

  • create legitimate relationships
  • change the status of a legitimate relationship
  • query legitimate relationships
  • batch query legitimate relationships
  • identify user role profiles
  • manage user workgroup membership

Legal use

This API can only be used where there is a legal basis to do so. Make sure you have a valid use case before you go too far with your development.

You must do this before you can go live (see ‘Onboarding’ below). 

Related APIs

The following APIs are related to this one:

  • Summary Care Record - HL7 V3 API - use this API to access a patient's Summary Care Record (SCR) - an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records.

API status

This API is stable.


This API is an HL7 V3 API. It is a mixture of:

  • synchronous interactions, using HL7 V3 SOAP web services
  • asynchronous interactions, using HL7 V3 ebXML messaging

For more details, see HL7 V3.

Network access

You can access this API via:

 For more details, see Network access for APIs.

Security and authorisation


This API is user-restricted, meaning an end user must be present and authenticated to use it.

The end user must be:

  • a healthcare professional
  • strongly authenticated, using either an NHS smartcard or a modern alternative

We support the following security patterns:

  • user-restricted HL7 V3 API, using NHS Identity
  • user-restricted HL7 V3 API, using CIS

For more details see user-restricted APIs.


For some activities, the end user must be authorised to perform that activity.

The API itself does not perform any authorisation checks. Rather, the calling system is expected to perform them. The authorisation rules are specified in our national Role Based Access Control (RBAC) database.

For more details see our national Role Based Access Control (RBAC) database on the registration authorities and smartcards page.


You can test this API using our Path to Live environments.


You must get your software onboarded before it can go live.

As part of onboarding, this API uses the Common Assurance Process (CAP), which is tailored for each NHS service. For more details, contact us.


For a full list of interactions for this API, see the 'Legitimate Relationships (LRs)' domain in the Spine Message Implementation Manual (MIM).

For details on the general structure of the interactions, see HL7 V3.

Last edited: 8 October 2020 3:34 pm