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See compliance with the national data opt-out
for full details of what you need to do to become compliant, by March 2020
This guidance is for those working in organisations that use or disclose data that falls within the scope of national data opt-out policy. The Check for National Data Opt-outs Service can be used by health and care organisations to check for opt-outs before using or disclosing data. The service requires access to the Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH). The information below describes how to access MESH and how to use MESH to check for national data opt-outs.
You'll need to access MESH via one of the three different routes listed below. The choice will depend upon your organisational resources and needs:
- MESH User Interface (UI): capable of sending files up to 100MB and can be accessed using either NHS Smartcard (HSCN/N3 access) or password and pin code (internet access) - is the most user-friendly route to access MESH
- MESH client: capable of sending files up to 20GB, however does require software installation
- MESH Application Programme Interface (API): capable of sending files up to 20GB, configurable to current IT systems, however requires advanced technical team to implement
Find more information on our Compare MESH services webpage.
In most cases system suppliers or IT administrators will handle the set-up of MESH for each organisation. End users should get in touch with their organisation's IT contacts with any questions about setting up the service, including installation, access rights or running the MESH client.
For all types of MESH, you'll require a MESH mailbox set-up to use the Check for National Data Opt-outs Service. When completing the mailbox request form, please state “National Data Opt-Out Service (
SPINE_NTT_UPHOLDING)” when asked what type of data will be sent/received via MESH. The file size is asked to ensure you are accessing MESH via the correct route for your needs.
If you decide to use a new mailbox with an existing client, please ensure you edit the configuration file, meshclient.cfg. Discover how to use multiple mailboxes for one MESH client installation.
Once you have set up your MESH access as required, then follow the steps below to create the file to be able to send it.
Before using the service, please review the Check for National Data Opt-outs licence agreement, which notes the rights and conditions upon which your organisation may use the Check for National Data Opt-outs service provided by NHS Digital.
The returned control file will have a blank subject field but will include a status record which confirms the transfer of the file back to the organisation. The <status> should read “SUCCESS”. If it does not, refer to the MESH client user guide for information on the types of error codes and how to resolve them.