SMSP is a middleware application that presents a simpler interface to local systems than that provided by full Spine integration, but with more limited capabilities. It requires a secure network connection (through N3 or its successor – HSCN), but smartcards are not required, because only exact matches to trace requests are returned, and updates to the Spine service are not possible. It provides a web service interface, as part of the Spine platform, for a local SMS Client to directly query a subset of Spine services, meaning:
- Health and social care organisations can access some types of patient information (initially PDS) more easily.
- Third Party developers can integrate their systems with Spine more easily whilst continuing to develop local Client applications to meet the needs of End Users.
It also provides a lighter weight assurance process using the NHS Digital self-certified approach (known as the PDS Access Request Form and the Supplier Conformance Assessment List) to address clinical safety, operational readiness and information governance issues.