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

Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH)

The Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) is the main secure large file transfer service used across health and social care organisations.

We have migrated MESH to a new AWS cloud platform

On Friday 2 December we migrated MESH to a new AWS cloud platform from on premises infrastructure as part of the Spine Futures programme. 

Users should not notice any change as the new MESH cloud system is functionally equivalent and no changes were made to the host names or IP addresses to access the MESH service.

Should you experience any issues relating to the MESH service please raise an incident through the National Service Desk you can also email support.digitalservices@nhs.net or telephone 0300 303 5035.

Why use MESH

You can use MESH to:
  • transfer data files securely from one organisation to another

  • transfer large files (up to 20GB) which cannot be sent over NHSmail (up to 35MB only)

  • send a file to someone's GP, using their NHS number and other details

MESH can be used in 3 ways:
  • the MESH UI is a user-friendly interface, available through the web. It can be accessed with a smartcard, or a password and two-factor authentication app

  • the MESH client is an installable app that can be run on a server or an individual computer

  • the MESH API is used by software developers to send data automatically between services

Organisations must have separate mailboxes for each use case to maintain the security of the data being sent and received.

MESH is available over the internet, though some tasks require a connection to Spine infrastructure over the HSCN.

MESH can send files of any type, for many different purposes. For example, MESH could be used by:

  • a pathology lab using MESH to communicate test results to GP practices
  • a hospital sending and receiving notifications to adult social services to identify patients who need adult social care when they leave hospital, in line with the Care Act 2014

If you need to use MESH yourself to send files, through the client or UI, you’ll usually need technical support. We recommend you get in touch with your organisation’s IT team first.

If you’re a software developer and are interested in using the MESH API, you might want to start by looking at the MESH API documentation.


First steps

If you're interested in using MESH within your service you first need to consider which MESH product you wish to use then apply for a MESH mailbox.

More about the MESH products

We have three types of MESH to suit different organisational needs and requirements.

  1. MESH User Interface (UI) - ideal for organisations sending or receiving small files (under 50MB over the internet and under 100MB over HSCN).
  2. MESH Client - ideal for organisations sending or receiving large files (up to 20GB), such as GP sites, trusts, private NHS providers.
  3. MESH Application Programming Interface (API) - MESH API is a restful API ideal for organisations who have the technical skills to integrate MESH into their systems.

If you choose the wrong MESH product, or you have difficulty implementing a particular product, you can switch to a different method later in the process.

Apply for a mailbox

This begins the process of implementing MESH in your service. You need to provide information about:

  • your organisation
  • the people responsible for managing your MESH mailbox
  • the workflow groups and IDs associated with the messages you're sending

Workflow groups and IDs determine and identify the type of message you can send or receive via that mailbox. Read our guidance on Workflow Groups and Workflow IDs before beginning your MESH mailbox application.

We also offer a number of testing or 'Path to Live' environments. These can be used by end users for training purposes or by software developers testing your MESH implementation.

If you are contacting us for the first time you might want to request one of our Path to Live environments. You can return to request a live mailbox later when you're ready.


Contact

Contact the National Service Desk at support.digitalservices@nhs.net or call 0300 30 35 035 for any technical or service issues and general enquiries including requests to be added to the distribution list for regular updates to service suppliers and users.

For testing related enquiries about MESH contact Solutions Assurance at sa.servicedesk@nhs.net.

Customers can also raise a query via our Customer Service portal.


Further information

internal MESH guidance hub

View our selection of MESH and MOLES technical documentation. These guides will help you install and use your MESH client, manage your advanced settings and identify recipient mailboxes using the endpoint lookup service.

Last edited: 20 December 2022 4:18 pm