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Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.


Spine supports the IT infrastructure for health and social care in England, joining together over 44,000 healthcare IT systems in 26,000 organisations.

Important update

We are moving the NHS Spine Platform to the cloud. Find out more about these important changes.

Spine allows information to be shared securely through national services such as the Electronic Prescription Service, the Personal Demographics Service, the Summary Care Record and the e-Referral Service

It currently handles over 1.3 billion messages a month and at peak times is processing more than 3,200 messages a second.

NHS Digital develops and maintains Spine. Recent developments include enabling the sharing of child protection information via the Child Protection Information System (CP-IS), and developing ways to allow easier access to demographic data through the Spine Mini Service.

Use Spine

Most users access Spine through clinical systems or through the Spine portal.

New ways are being developed to help systems suppliers design IT systems for health and care which can integrate with Spine or access important patient information.

Contact the NHS national service desk for more information. Phone: 0300 303 5035 or email: [email protected].

Spine Futures

The Spine Futures programme has been created to transform Spine. The vision is to provide a secure, adaptable, and sustainable infrastructure for the health and care system in England, enabling data integration between care settings.

This will create a platform for national digital services to be built upon to meet current and future needs of staff, patients, and the public.

To find out more about the programme visit the Spine Futures page.

Contact details

Our National Service Desk (NSD) can provide support and can escalate issues, where required:

Telephone: 0300 303 5035

Email: [email protected]

Report via our customer portal

Further information

internal Spine Futures

NHS Digital are developing a new, scalable platform to replace the current NHS Spine over the next 2 to 3 years. The Spine of the future will make use of modern technologies and open standards to meet the current and future needs of patients, staff, and citizens. 

internal Spine technical information: Warrantied Environment Specification (WES)

Computer systems which access NHS England services through Spine have to meet certain technical standards. The Warrantied Environment Specification (WES) defines the client environments that we support and applications requiring a smartcard or other approved authenticator to be aligned with the terms and conditions.

internal Reasonable Adjustment Flag

The Reasonable Adjustment Flag is a national record which indicates that reasonable adjustments are required for an individual and optionally includes details of their significant impairments and key adjustments that should be considered.

internal Updating NHS Public Key Infrastructure certificates

All health and social care organisations connecting to the NHS Spine must have a valid NHS Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificate in place to ensure encrypted patient data is transmitted securely. First generation (G1) certificates are expiring in 2024. We recommend updating them to second generation (G2) certificates by 31 December 2023.

Last edited: 20 October 2023 4:14 pm