Help and support from NHS Digital

Hi all,

We currently offer developers help and support in a number of ways. The API Management team at NHS Digital aim to use the most appropriate communication channels available to engage with you.

As part of this work, we are looking at how best to create an environment for external developers to discuss issues openly where the NHS Digital team can also participate and give advice – this could be a useful addition or alternative to one-to-one emails with us.

We need your feedback to help guide our decision making and we’d be grateful if you could spare five minutes to complete our quick survey which will help us better understand our developer community. The closing date is 28.01.2021.

Complete the survey (link to the survey at Microsoft Forms Microsoft Forms)

If you have any other ideas on how we can improve our help and support, please share them with us via our interactive product backlog (link to )

Kind regards,
API Management team
NHS Digital


Hi Ernie,
I know I’m past the deadline, but I’m interested and the form link still works, so I’ve filled it in anyway. I’d love to hear about any NHS-centric developer communities that exist. We work mostly with OOH providers - dealing with clinical audit - primarily one doctor looking over the notes made by another / judgements of suitability, and supporting learning and feedback that comes out of that.
Our main issue at the moment, is lack of means to access notes entered in Emis or SystmOne. I don’t believe any existing API’s provide that. But also don’t understand why that must be true in a well-managed setting.
I’d love to be in touch with people who know better, or could do something about changing it.

Does GP Connect not allow some access to notes made in principal GP systems?

I’ve looked at the demonstrator before, which I think is for the Access Record HTML - but it doesn’t give us the detail we need around consultations. Who did what, when, and why.

However, the Access Record Structured does look like it is now capable of providing full enough consultation information:
…this is the information we are looking for.

But I don’t think we fit this use requirement: (source)

GP Connect does not place any specific restrictions on how the data is processed so long as the data is only used for the direct care of the patient

In usage, it would be intended to be used without a direct link to the patient, instead being for the improvement of the organisational and individual clinician’s practice (by that same organisation). Arg.

I guess we should speak to them and see what can be done. Thank you for the pointer.

Hi Mike

Thanks for completing the survey - the deadline was extended until today.

I have raised your query internally concerning access to notes entered in Emis or SystmOne. As soon as I have any feedback, I will happily share it with you.

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Hi Mike

Here is the feedback I promised you from the GP Connect team

We use the national data guardian’s definition of direct care.

A clinical, social or public health activity concerned with the prevention, investigation and treatment of illness and the alleviation of suffering of individuals. It includes supporting individuals’ ability to function and improve their participation in life and society. It includes the assurance of safe and high-quality care and treatment through local audit, the management of untoward or adverse incidents, person satisfaction including measurement of outcomes undertaken by one or more registered and regulated health or social care professionals and their team with whom the individual has a legitimate relationship for their care.”

If they believe they are developing a consumer that fits this definition they should be able to develop a consumer for GP connect, any service wants to develop a consumer needs to submit a user case. If it pushes the boundaries of this definition, then the use case will be reviewed by our clinical information group. Every patient has the right to a subject access request on why their clinical record has been viewed, so all patient access needs to be transparent, legitimate, and proportionate.

If this still regarded as within the same episode of care, it may be that local audits should be reflecting who has the legitimate relationship with the patient.

I hope this helps.



Thanks @erniek and @mikev for this discussion which I think is of huge help to other developers and teams looking to use these data sources. Really good to have these discussions openly and in a forum like this.

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