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API management vision

Read about our vision and roadmap for API management.

Our vision is evolving as we learn

To tell us what you think, please use the feedback widget or contact us.

You can also suggest, comment or vote on features using our interactive product backlog.

Our vision

We believe in the potential of digital technologies to improve health and care services.

We can’t do this alone. But if we can unlock the capabilities of our platforms and develop open standards and APIs, we can create an environment for digital innovation to thrive.

That means more digital services designed around the needs of our health and care professionals, patients and people. Services that offer simple and speedy access to the information and data that matters, whenever and wherever it’s needed. Cost-effective, creative and sustainable solutions that accelerate the digital transformation of the NHS. 

Through co-creation and collaboration, we can overcome the challenges, bringing the benefits of digital innovation to more people across the health and care sector.

This vision is aligned with NHS England's Data saves lives and Open API policies.

Our mission

To make this vision a reality, we are improving the way we deliver our APIs.

You’ve told us you want APIs that are modern, easy to access and easy to use. You also want clear documentation, accessible test environments, a simple onboarding process and good quality help and support.

We’ve listened to your feedback and have a clear mission.

Make integration easier

...for everyone who wants to connect to our platforms and services - from large, well-established software houses to small start-ups. Whether you’re already using our APIs, or want to connect for the very first time, we’re here to listen to you and make that journey easier and faster.

To achieve it, we are:

  1. building an API platform - a one-stop shop for all our APIs, old and new
  2. building an exemplar API - the Personal Demographics Service FHIR API
  3. migrating our other APIs to the platform
  4. sunsetting (deprecating and retiring) our older APIs, as and when appropriate, in line with our policy 

We will iterate based on your feedback - to tell us what you think, please use the feedback widget or contact us.

Our principles

We have developed a set of principles to guide our actions.

Make learning easier

Our API documentation will be online, accessible and clear. We will provide hands-on tutorials and sandboxes so you can try things out. We will provide feedback channels so you can tell us what you think.

Make designing and building easier

Our APIs will be internet-facing and simple to use. We will use modern open standards, such as REST, FHIR, OAuth 2.0. We will use clinical information standards such as SNOMED CT, dm+d, ICD, OPCS and UTL. We will use NHS Care Identity Service 2 (NHS CIS2) and NHS login for authentication.

Make testing easier

Our test environments will be self-service and well-documented. We will provide easy-to-use sandboxes for early developer testing.

Make onboarding easier

Our API onboarding process will be as simple as possible, only asking you to do things that are needed. We won't compromise clinical safety, privacy or security. 

Make help and support easier

Our API platform will be as self-service as possible. When you do need help, we will provide simple and reliable support.

Make run easier

We will provide tools for monitoring API health and receiving alerts if something is amiss.

Make building and running APIs easier

Building APIs on our platform will be cloud-based and self-service. We will provide support, guidance and lightweight governance to API producer teams. There will be a structured yet agile API delivery process. Running APIs will be made easier by logging, monitoring and alerting tools, and security and rate limiting capabilities.

General principles

We will follow the GDS agile delivery process, doing the hard work to make it simple. We will listen to your feedback and we will measure success.

To see the results of our latest survey, and what we plan to do about it, see Developer integration survey - January 2023.

API policies

To make sure our own teams adhere to the above principles, we've defined a set of policies and best practice guidance for building APIs at NHS England.

By doing this, we hope to ensure that the APIs we offer provide a consistent user experience and give API consumers confidence that they are built to a high quality.

For more details, see API policies and best practice.

Our roadmap

Our roadmap includes all the APIs and platform features we need to deliver our vision.


Status: various

For details, or to suggest, comment or vote on APIs, see the APIs on our interactive product backlog.

Platform features - phase one

Status: complete

For details, see the phase one features on our interactive product backlog.

Platform features - phase two

Status: in progress

For details, or to suggest, comment or vote on features, see the phase two features on our interactive product backlog.

Platform features - phase three

Status: to do

For details, or to suggest, comment or vote on features, see the phase three features on our interactive product backlog.

All APIs and platform features

To see all the APIs and platform features on our roadmap, see our complete interactive product backlog.

Getting started

Start your journey on our developer and integration hub.

Last edited: 19 January 2024 4:07 pm