PDS is the national electronic database of NHS patient demographic data, such as name, address, date of birth and NHS number. It supports quick and accurate identification of a patient, contact and communication with a patient, and linkage of data and records across care settings and information systems.
The main purpose of the PDS is to support direct care, although data can also be supplied for secondary uses.
PDS access methods are:
PDS FHIR API
This API is the newest and simplest way to integrate healthcare software with PDS. It follows the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard. It is available on the internet, although you do need a secure network connection to use it with smartcards. This API uses digital onboarding, through which you must demonstrate you have a valid use case to access PDS data.
For more details, see Personal Demographics Service - FHIR API.
PDS HL7 V3 API
The original way to integrate healthcare software with PDS. It requires a secure network connection and smartcards, and has a fairly long onboarding process.
For more details, see Personal Demographics Service - HL7 V3 API.
PDS SMSP API (deprecated)
The PDS Spine Mini Service Provider (SMSP) API is a simple PDS trace API which returns exact matches only - updates are not allowed. It requires a secure network connection but does not require smartcards. It had a simpler integration and onboarding process than the HL7 V3 API.
This API was deprecated effective 14 October 2021 with the intention to retire it on 31st January 2024.
If you are migrating an existing product from the PDS SMSP API to the PDS FHIR API, your existing PDS Access Request will be valid if the use case is identical.
For more details, see, Personal Demographics Service - SMSP API
Summary Care Record Application (SCRa)
Provides online real time access and update capability through a web portal application. It requires a secure network connection and smartcards.
Demographics Batch Service
The Demographics Batch Service (DBS) is an offline service that provides a simple PDS batch trace capability with exact matches only being returned. It requires a secure network connection and installation of DBS software locally.
Data Access Tracing Service (DATS)
Provides a PDS batch trace capability via the Master Person Service (MPS). Available to registered users through a web portal without the need for a smartcard or secure connection.
DATS is not currently available to new customers - for more details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Back Office (NBO) Tracing Service
The NBO Tracing Service provides a range of different tracing services operating under specific legislation for NHS and non-NHS organisations. Requires secure email capability for the exchange of data.