The NHS England API platform is a ‘front door’ for health and care APIs, primarily for the NHS in England.
APIs are used by point-of-care applications and patient-facing applications to talk to back-end applications.
Most of the back-end applications are owned by NHS England, but some are owned by third parties.
The platform provides a consistent experience for API consumers and API producers that makes integration easier and supports NHS England's Data saves lives and Open API policies.
Developer hub (including digital onboarding)
The developer hub is for API consumers - people building front-end applications that consume APIs. It's not just for programmers and architects – it's also for product owners, business analysts, delivery leads, testers, CTOs and entrepreneurs.
getting started information, including tutorials
a searchable API catalogue
detailed API specifications
self-service access to test environments
a digital onboarding service for access to production
help and support, including our developer community for support-in-the-open and peer-to-peer support
Some of the features require you to create an NHS England developer account.
History and status
The API platform was launched in 2020, as part of our mission to make integration easier. It exited beta in March 2022, apart from the developer account, which is still in beta.
The first API we built on the platform was the Personal Demographics Service FHIR API. This is our 'exemplar' API – a demonstration of what good looks like.
Since then, all new NHS England APIs have been built on the platform, and we have been working to migrate our existing APIs to the platform. This is likely to take some time.
You can check on our progress by viewing our API catalogue, filtered on API platform APIs.
You can see what’s in the pipeline by viewing our interactive product backlog. This includes upcoming APIs as well as API platform features.
Technology stack and open source
Our API platform has a hybrid technology stack, using a blend of proprietary products, open source products and bespoke code.
Specifically, at the time of writing (27 April 2022), we are using:
Our bespoke code, including the code for all our API proxies, is mostly coded in the open and is hosted in our GitHub repositories. We welcome contributions from the developer community - but we're not always watching out for them, so if you do raise a pull request, you might want to contact us to let us know.