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

Interoperability Toolkit

The Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) is a set of common specifications, frameworks and implementation guides. It supports interoperability within local organisations and across local health and social care communities.

In some areas, there's a good level of similarity in business process, data requirements and technical alignment. In others, there are competing and, in some cases, incompatible solutions.

The ITK attempts to solve these problems by providing a number of specifications and technologies which are consistent and applicable across a wide range of domains and localities. It's not a piece of software or a downloadable product.

Benefits of the ITK

The ITK aims to:

  • reduce NHS expenditure on local system integration projects by standardising technology and interoperability specifications
  • reduce complexity in local system integration
  • reduce overlap or expenditure from vendors for similar integration projects across NHS organisations by adopting common standards
  • reduce delivery times by simplifying integration
  • open the market to new entrants, niche suppliers and local teams by defining the standard to develop against upfront
  • allow benefits from interoperability to be replicated and scaled up

Key information

The ITK uses open international standards and is aligned with HL7 and 'Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise' (IHE).

An ITK conformance means a system supplier has proven that a product has been developed to and tested against ITK specifications.

Contact details

This service is provided by the Interoperability team. If you have any questions, contact

Further information

internal Conformance

The Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) conformance process is designed to be straightforward, focusing on demonstrating conformance to relevant technical specifications and standards.

Last edited: 21 October 2020 12:32 pm