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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.
Spine Mini Services Provider for Personal Demographics Service
The first NHS Digital SMSP application has been developed for the Personal Demographics Service (PDS), one of the core Spine services. The PDS is the national database of patient demographic information, comprising patients’ NHS Number, basic demographic details (name, DOB, gender, address), contact details, registered GP practice, pharmacy preferences for use in EPS, and various indicators for records management purposes.
The SMSP for PDS makes national demographic information available to suitable organisations with whom NHS Digital has a legal basis for sharing PDS Data. It allows these organisations to fulfil their duties under the NHS standard contracts to use the NHS number as a ‘consistent identifier’, resulting in every patient being identified properly across care settings. It will also improve ease of access to national information by social care organisations. The service provides access to demographic data so that end users can:
- Determine the NHS number using other demographic details.
- Search for patient demographic information based on a combination of NHS number, name, date of birth, postcode and gender.
In the future we may develop the SMSP to let users connect with other Spine services, such as Summary Care Records or the Electronic Prescription Service.
Resources and information overview
The information and resources are available in the following sections:
- Overview of SMSP for PDS and its capabilities, the connection and compliance processes
- The NHS Digital self-certified approach, involving completion of the PDS Access Request Form and the Supplier Conformance Assessment List
- How to request access to PDS via SMSP. This is the first step for interested organisations, either Supplier or End User
- Stage 1: Getting Started including quickstart for developers
- Stage 2: Access to Personal Demographics Service
- Describes the NHS Digital scrutiny process that establishes whether the purpose for which the data is required represents a legal basis for NHS Digital sharing that data with the organisation
- Covers the completion of PDS Access Request Form
- Stage 3: Development (for Suppliers)
- Stage 4: Test and Assurance
- Requirements and resources to complete local and integration testing and submit evidence to NHS Digital
- Covers the completion of Phase 1b (Technical Conformance approval) and Phase 2 (End User Organisation approval) of the TOM
- Stage 5: Agreements
- Approvals checklists, the Connection Agreement, End User Organisation Policy and Special Terms
- Stage 6: Deployment and Service Management
- Endpoint registration and live deployment procedures plus an overview of live service management
Enables a developer to become familiar with a typical journey that they will take to develop and deploy their solution in a live care setting.
Describes the required approval of usage and settings mainly relating to the end user.
Information and resources for developers who are starting to build the SMS client.
Provides information about how to complete the test and assurance process.
Summaries of the documents that detail the responsibilities, obligations and rights of the participant organisations
The final steps to install the client and a summary of the live service management agreements.
Service management information and an overview of the national service desk to support providers accessing SMSP.
Further information and policies for suppliers about the connection agreement.
We have provided guidance and technical resources for suppliers and end users to support SMSP API consuming application and guidance for suppliers and end users.