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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. All references to NHS Digital now, or in the future, relate to NHS England. More about the merger.

Open access test environment for Spine, Opentest


This page explains how to access and use NHS Digital’s Opentest open-access network for developing healthcare applications.

Opentest is an open access test environment for the NHS Spine. If you are developing healthcare applications, you can test them by connecting to this environment. Opentest contains clinical and demographic test data. Having access to this means you can use a real Spine 2 core instance as well as Spine-based NHS services, including:

  • Personal Demographics Service (PDS)
  • Personal Spine Information Service (PSIS)
  • Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)
  • Access Control Service (ACS) and message forwarding
  • Child Protection - Information Sharing (CP-IS)
  • Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK) services
  • Care Identity Service authentication
  • Messaging tools

Access Opentest

You access Opentest through a VPN. You do not need to have an HSCN connection or a working system to get access. To access this environment, you need to email the NHS Digital Solutions Assurance Service Desk with your request. You need to provide your contact details, brief information about the type of development you are interested in and any specific requirements.

Uses for Opentest

You can use Opentest to:

  • develop your applications to work with Spine
  • work with other developers or companies on integrated solutions - network access is available
  • demonstrate products to potential customers
  • run procurement competitions between vendors
  • hold hack-day events where programmers collaborate intensively on software projects.

Technical information for suppliers and NHS IT professionals

For more detailed information see Technical information on using Opentest.

Last edited: 14 September 2020 12:29 pm