NEMS has been designed to allow the sharing of healthcare information without having to know the recipient(s) as long as there is a lawful basis for them to receive it. Healthcare providers send the information as event messages to NEMS - they are known as event publishers. The messages relate to specific events. They are commissioned to fulfil a particular use case.
Those receiving the information are known as subscribers. This is because they inform NEMS what information they would like to receive.
Receivers specify the data set they require and information is sent by NEMS in the form of an event message. Subscriptions are set up to ensure that receivers only get the specific data they require and have been assured to receive.
There are two types of subscription:
- Explicit subscriptions relate to where a subscriber wishes to receive event messages for a specific patient. For example, a pharmacist wanting to receive hospital admission and discharge events for a specific patient.
- Generic subscriptions specify a cohort of patient within a geographical boundary or registered organisations (GP practices). For example, a community care service wishing to view events for all children within a specific local authority area.
The healthcare professionals that receive the information are known as subscribers and tell the NEMS what information they would like to receive by asking for different types of event messages. Each type of event message contains different information. A healthcare professional asking for an event message creates a NEMS subscription.
Subscribers will generally be healthcare professionals but could include patients.
When the NEMS is sent an event message from a publisher, it sends the event message to all those subscribing to the event.
An authorised healthcare professional can subscribe to events about patients by:
- asking for events about all patients that live in a specific area - for example, based on the patient's postcode or the postcode of the patient's registered GP
- asking for events about a specific patient, using their NHS number to identify them
The criteria a health and care professional uses to ask for event messages will be chosen based on what patients they are responsible for in an area and which patients they have a legitimate relationship with.
Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) is the current mechanism we use to deliver event messages to the consumers.
To set up a mailbox for your test environment (INT or DEP), the requesting party should email the Platforms Support Desk at email@example.com, stating which workflow ID they want on their mailbox and give:
- your organisation name and address
- your organisation data service (ODS) code
- the contact details of a nominated representative within your organisation
- the contact details for any third-parties managing the mailbox on your behalf
- the type of data you'll be sending and receiving via MESH
- the approximate file size of the data you'll be sending
- which Workflow IDs you need adding to the MESH mailbox
Suppliers will then be given a reference number from the Platforms Support Desk, which should be quoted when contacting the team for any updates or follow on discussions.
Request a live MESH mailbox using our online form.