NHS Spine marks five-year anniversary

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NHS Spine is marking five years since it was brought in house by NHS Digital and run as an open source service for the NHS by the NHS – saving the service £150m.

The Spine connects clinicians and patients to essential national healthcare services, including the Electronic Prescription Service, Summary Care Record and the e-Referrals Service.

Used by 500,000 healthcare professionals daily, it now supports up to 47 million transactions per day, four times the monthly average for the entire UK credit and debit card system. It supports 28,000 IT healthcare systems across 21,000 organisations.

A Summary Care Record held on Spine is accessed every four seconds. Each record includes vital patient information needed in medical emergencies such as medicines and allergy advice.

The service also holds 90 million demographic records, which stretch from cradle to grave and hold information including address, GP and preferred language information.

The Electronic Prescription Service held on Spine supports two million electronic prescriptions sent per day and Spine messaging supports 17 million files per month.

Rob Shaw, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Digital, said: “The NHS Spine II has been a phenomenal achievement by everyone involved over the past five years. From the team that designed and built it after bringing it in-house to the staff that keep it running and performing to maximum capacity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“Spine II has saved the NHS millions of pounds over the last five years while offering a service that can be trusted and relied upon at all times.”