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Explore and Make use of Nationally Defined Messaging APIs



Glossary of terms used by the GP Connect Messaging specification


The action or process used to ensure that a system provider meets necessary criteria to use the GP Connect services.


A set of activities intended to provide confidence that a system works as described and in a safe and secure way.


The GP Connect FHIR® APIs are managed within 'capabilities' that focus on a particular business area of general practice and wider cross-organisational interoperability. Capabilities are organised within 'capability packs', which include:

  • Appointment Management
  • Access Record HTML
  • Access Record Structured

Clinical safety

The process of evaluating clinical safety risk. See clinical risk management standards.

Direct Patient Care

Defined by the Caldicott Review as 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 also includes the assurance of safe and high quality care and treatment through local audit, the management of untoward or adverse incidents, personal 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.

End User Organisation (EUO)

An organisation that uses a GP Connect service (or commissions the development of a new GP Connect service ) to access GP data from more than one clinical system provider to improve direct patient care.


Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources: a standard describing data formats and elements (known as ‘resources’) and an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records. The standard was created by the Health Level Seven International (HL7) health-care standards organisation.

First of Type (FoT)

A scheme that facilitates the onboarding, testing, governance, assurance and live deployment stage of an end user organisation and its consuming system on its journey to consuming a GP Connect FHIR® API. FoT also represents the process by which the provider API fulfilment is proven to meet set criteria prior to gaining approval for wider rollout and piloting.

GP principal clinical systems suppliers

The name given to a group of suppliers that provide GPs with the core system available under the GPSoC contract. The current suppliers are:

  • EMIS Health
  • Microtest
  • TPP
  • Vision

GPSoC contract

GP Systems of Choice: a contractual framework to supply IT systems and services to GP practices and associated organisations in England. Suppliers gain approval to offer services through a centrally controlled contract.


Interoperability Toolkit version 3: a FHIR® profile for a message which contains standard message metadata to facilitate standard message handling options.


Messaging Service for Health and Social Care: the NHS asynchronous messaging platform.


Organisational Data Service: NHS Digital team responsible for publishing organisation and practitioner codes, along with related national policies and standards. Also responsible for the maintenance of the organisation and person nodes of the Spine Directory Service.

ODS code

The identifier of an NHS organisation as defined and published by the NHS Organisation Data Service.

Proxy server

A server that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.


A system which receives messages through MESH with an ITK3 FHIR message header.


A system which sends messages through MESH with an ITK3 FHIR message header.


Is a collection of national applications, services and directories which support the health and social care sector in the exchange of information in national and local IT systems.


All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated