To meet strategic objectives to improve access to GP care, the Appointment Management (AM) APIs enable consumer system administrative and clinical end users to book and manage GP practice appointments held in any of the four GP principal practice systems. The implementation of the APIs within patient apps (to support patient direct access) is out of scope for initial deployment. Some API specification items may be uplifted in the future to reflect the requirements identified by related Appointment Management initiatives within the GP IT and Interoperability domains.
- administrative staff at a GP practice can book, view, amend or cancel appointments on behalf of a patient
- administrative staff at a GP extended access hub can book, view, amend or cancel appointments on behalf of a patient at any of its federated GP practices
- an urgent care (UC) 111 call centre handler or triage clinician can book, view, amend or cancel appointments on behalf of a patient at the patient’s registered or federated GP practices or extended access hubs
- administrative staff and clinicians at a range of other care settings (for example, A&E, physio, social and community services) will be able to book, view or cancel a GP appointment on behalf of the patient
GP practice appointment slot availability
GP practices need to control access by external organisations to their appointment book. Provider systems will enable practice users to designate their schedules/slots as bookable by GP Connect, and by Organisation Type and/or specific Organisations ensuring that only slots matching the booking Organisation/Type are returned in response to a request.
The Appointment slots available via GP Connect will also be categorised by the end-user according to standardised values representing the role of the practitioner delivering the appointment, and the channel by which the appointment is to be delivered - for example, ‘telephone’, ‘in-person’. This provides more information to the user booking the appointment on behalf of the patient, thereby reducing the risk of inappropriate appointment booking. The requirements are described in more detail in the Slot availability management page.
First of Type (FoT) care setting deployments
The following FoT deployments are being progressed:
Care Setting 1: Within GP federations
Enabling a GP practice or appointment hub to book, view, amend or cancel a patient’s in-hours or extended hours appointments at the patient’s registered GP practice or another GP practice within the same Federation.
Care Setting 2: From UC call centres to GP practices – in-hours, extended hours appointments
The requirement to support the use of the GP Connect capability for unscheduled care by UC services (UC call centres booking and managing appointments into GP practices) has been accommodated where possible in the API design. The call centre will retrieve and select in-hours or extended hours appointments for booking/managing at either:
the patient’s registered GP practice
GP practices federated with the patient’s registered GP practice
a GP practice within the vicinity of the patient’s geographic location; for example, when the patient is on holiday
API use cases
The following individual API calls are used by consumers to implement the Appointment Management capability:
- Retrieve a patient’s appointments
- Search for free slots
- Read an appointment
- Book an appointment
- Amend an appointment
- Cancel an appointment
Examples of consumer Appointment Management sessions
The use of the individual API calls listed above by consumers to fulfil business processes is illustrated with focus on the booking of an appointment. See Appointment Management consumer sessions illustrated.
Consumer code examples
Consumer side code examples are available for each of GP Connect interactions within the following GitHub repositories. The repositories contain a different branch for each release of the specification, the code within these branches matches the requirements of the specification within that release.
Profiled FHIR resources
See the Appointment Management FHIR® resources page for details of the FHIR profiles used for the Appointment Management capability pack.
The Appointment Management capability message set includes the following set of Spine interactions:
|Get organisation schedule||
|Get patient appointments||
Implementation and testing
Below is the suggested order in which the appointment capabilities should be implemented. The specified order has been recommended around the functionality of the GP Connect Automated Test Suite and any internal dependencies between the test scenarios for the different Appointment Management endpoints. The Appointment Management capability test scenarios are dependent on the foundation capabilities and therefore the foundation endpoints should be developed and tested before implementing the Appointment Management capabilities.
It’s recommended that you develop against the Automated Test Suite as this will help with creating a GP Connect compliant product. By implementing the endpoints in the order below, the Automated Test Suite set of tests for that endpoint can be run during development without you seeing errors due to pre-test API calls or post-test validation API calls relevant to the test being run and failing as they have not been developed yet.
|Order||API endpoint||Test suite endpoint dependencies||Reason for dependency|
|#1||Search for free slots||Read an organization / Read a practitioner / Read a location||The
|#2||Book an appointment||Register a patient / Find a patient / Search for free slots / Read an organization / Read a location / Read a practitioner / Read a patient||The
|#3||Retrieve a patient’s appointments||Search for free slots / Find a patient / Book an appointment / Register a patient / Read an organization / Read a location / Read a practitioner / Read a patient||The test suite builds the appointments for a patient before testing the
|#4||Amend an appointment||Search for free slots / Find a patient / Book an appointment / Register a patient / Read an organization / Read a location / Read a practitioner / Read a patient||The test scenarios for the
|#5||Cancel an appointment||Search for free slots / Find a patient / Book an appointment / Amend an appointment / Register a patient / Read an organization / Read a location / Read a practitioner / Read a patient||The test scenarios for the
|#6||Read an appointment||Search for free slots / Find a patient / Book an appointment / Amend an appointment / Cancel an appointment / Register a patient / Read an organization / Read a location / Read a practitioner / Read a patient||The test scenarios for