Five Ways the UK’s NHS Spine Information System has Been Redeveloped

By Annifer Jackson

The UK National Health Service (NHS) Spine, the essential national infrastructure that stores patient information and enables electronic messaging, has been successfully rebuilt by BJSS and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

It holds the demographic information of 80 million people, as well as controlling the messaging between key applications used in the delivery of patient care.

The newly developed system can be summarised by the following:

  1. BJSS and HSCIC have worked together to create a more flexible system that represents a design step change away from the earlier centralised product.
  2. Working with BJSS, the HSCIC has developed the replacement service in-house using agile development and open source technology. The new platform will improve overall performance and reduce the costs of operation and future changes in functionality.
  3. Thousands of care organisations, health professionals and patients in England who rely on the NHS Spine – the electronic backbone of the NHS - were able to securely access its systems and services during a major transition to a new technology advanced version.
  4. Spine 2 is the largest and most significant Open Source system in the public sector to date.
  5. It allows those working in the NHS to respond more effectively to customer demands, and is easier for other suppliers to integrate with the infrastructure.

Glynn Robinson, managing director of BJSS said, “The new Spine has been developed from scratch and in a very different way to its predecessor. It offers far greater flexibility, enabling those working in the NHS to respond more effectively to customer demands and it’s much easier for other suppliers to integrate with the infrastructure.

“It was imperative that the project was delivered without disrupting the delivery of NHS services. This is where our experience of delivering complex software solutions combined with the BJSS Enterprise Agile approach has been essential. We are extremely proud of the new Spine and our contribution to this key piece of national healthcare infrastructure.”


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