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NHSmail APIs Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

Can my application be run on a non- Transition Network / HSCN internet connection?

No, your application must be located on a server or PC connected to the Transition Network / HSCN.

Can I connect my own email system directly to NHSmail to securely exchange information from my local email service?

Systems accredited to the SCCI1596 Secure Email Standard will be provisioned for direct secure communication to NHSmail. Systems not accredited to SCCI1596 will be able to exchange non sensitive email via the relay service (where sensitive information needs to be exchanged additional protection should be applied).

I am not an employee of an NHS organisation. How do I get an NHSmail account to integrate my application with the NHSmail APIs?

To gain third-party access to NHSmail, please visit the joining NHSmail section of the support pages and follow the instructions for “registering a commissioned/independent organisation providing or supporting publicly funded health and social care”.

Who is the best person to speak to from a technical perspective if I am wishing to develop an interface with an API?

There are a large number of Microsoft resources and information from other sources on the Internet around developing against the native Exchange and Skype for Business APIs. You should work with your local developer resources in the first instance using the online information.

If your developers experience difficulty connecting to the APIs or the responses are not as expected then please contact detailing the issue.

Do I need to seek any approvals to use an API on the NHSmail platform?

There are no approvals to use any of the APIs but developer should follow the guidance contained within this document.

What happens if the APIs change centrally – how will I be informed?

APIs do change over time, but it is the Microsoft standard APIs that are available, so will be well documented and as with Microsoft normal policies they usually give good notice of change, where possible we will cascade known change communications to the Local Administrator community and ensure it is published on the NHSmail support pages for all users to read. Developers are encouraged to subscribe to TechNet and monitor Microsoft streams of work.

What policies should I consider when interfacing an API to an existing system?

Guidance in this document should be adhered to but it is important to consider local information governance policies and those relating to clinical safety for example SCCI0129. More information on this standard is available.

When the NHSmail platform comes round for refresh will all the API functionality be supported?

API availability will be available throughout the lifetime of the contract however, we cannot guarantee that all existing API functionality will be made available if we have a complete platform refresh. API development will factor in future choices of platform.