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

Compare MESH services

We currently have three types of MESH to suit a variety of organisational needs and requirements. Here is a summary of the three types, with links to installation and user guides.

We have recently migrated MESH to a new AWS cloud platform

On Friday 2 December 2022 we migrated MESH to a new AWS cloud platform from on-premise infrastructure as part of the Spine Futures programme.

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

At a glance

MESH type Description File sizes Ease of set up Authentication
MESH UI Accessed through a web browser

Under 100MB over HSCN

Under 50MB over the internet

Easiest - no software installation required, ideal for non-technical users.

HSCN - using a smartcard

Internet - using a 2-factor authentication app

MESH Client Software installed on your computer or server Up to 20GB Medium - requires software installation You'll need to request and install a security certificate
MESH API Use a callable API from software you write. Up to 20GB More complex - requires developer support to integrate into your IT systems. Authorisation token in the HTTP Authorization header


MESH user interface

The MESH user interface (UI):

  • has a web-based interface, which is ideal for non-technical users
  • is ideal for organisations intending to send and receive small files (under 100MB over HSCN and under 50MB over the internet)
  • connects to the Spine infrastructure by use of a physical smartcard if accessed via HSCN connection, or connects via a PIN and password if accessed via the internet (2-factor authentication)
  • does not require any software installation
  • is ideal for organisations that are not able to do systems integration and are low volume with file size under 100MB

The MESH UI can only be used by users with a UK IP address.

To use MESH UI, either via HSCN or via the internet, you'll need to complete a MESH mailbox request form. Currently, the email domains on the allow list for access to MESH UI via the internet are:, and

When you have your MESH mailbox ID, you need to complete a MESH UI account request form.

Once you have a created MESH mailbox that is ready to use (and therefore have access to MESH UI), open the Spine Portal. Authenticate either via smartcard (for HSCN access) or via a password and PIN number (for internet access).

Your MESH UI mailbox will similar to this:

MESH UI dev ops mailbox

Files received will appear under the 'inbox' tab, on the bottom section of the screen.

To send a file, select the 'New message' icon to the top left of the main screen. Select the message type, recipient, and files you wish to send before clicking 'submit' to send the message.

A single file can be sent to only one recipient at a time. To send the same file to multiple recipients, create a message for each one. You can send up to 100MB in one file, and files are kept in an inbox for 5 days before being removed. Organisations are responsible for collecting received files and managing their inbox.

MESH client

The MESH client:

  • is ideal for organisations intending to send and receive large files (up to 20GB), such as GP sites, trusts and private NHS providers
  • connects to the Spine infrastructure either through the HSCN connection, or via the internet
  • requires installation of MESH software - we advise that systems suppliers or IT administrators do this for you

This is the most common type of MESH used.

The MESH client can only be used by users with a UK IP address.

Please see our MESH client installation guide for instructions regarding installation and configuration of the MESH client software.

Please see our MESH client user guide  for instructions regarding using your MESH mailbox and sending/receiving messages.

MESH Application Programming Interface

The MESH Application Programming Interface (API) is ideal for organisations intending to send and receive a high number of large files (up to 20GB) and who have the technical skills to integrate MESH into their systems. It connects to the Spine infrastructure either through the HSCN connection, or via the internet.

See our MESH API webpage for more information on setting up and using MESH API.

Last edited: 13 July 2022 5:10 pm