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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.
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 N3/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.
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 user interface
The MESH user interface (UI):
- is ideal for organisations intending to send and receive small files (under 100MB over N3/HSCN and under 50MB over Internet Gateway).
- connects to the Spine infrastructure by use of a physical smartcard if accessed via N3/HSCN connection, or connects via a PIN and password if accessed via the internet
- has a web-based interface, which is ideal for non-technical users
- 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
To use MESH UI, either via N3/HSCN or via the internet gateway, 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 gateway are: nhs.net, nhs.uk and gov.uk.
Additionally the MESH UI can only be used by users with a UK IP address.
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 N3/HSCN access) or via a password and PIN number (for internet access).
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 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 N3/HSCN connection, or via the internet.
Please see our MESH API website for more information on setting up and using MESH API.