03 August 2017


PRSB welcomes NHS digital's announcement on FHIR

PRSB welcomes the announcement from NHS Digital to move directly to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) based structured document standards for Transfer of Care.


FHIR has become the international industry standard so the decision has been taken to migrate to FHIR now to prevent a more complex migration in the future which would result in greater clinical risk and higher costs for NHS providers and NHS clinical system suppliers.

Analysis was undertaken with a representative group of local healthcare provider organisations who indicated that they had not implemented Transfer of Care CDA. The majority of Trusts and software suppliers engaged with advised they would prefer to move to the FHIR based strategic solution for Transfer of Care.

The DRAFT Transfer of Care FHIR specifications are available for download from GitHub:

These include:

  • eDischarge (inpatient and day case)
  • Mental Health
  • Emergency Care

The FHIR message specification for Outpatient Clinic Letters will be released as a DRAFT message in late August 2017.

The Transfer of Care FHIR messages will use ITK (Interoperability Toolkit) 3.0 which can be downloaded from GitHub.

Providers are reminded that by 1 October 2018, they must have aligned their acute inpatient and day case discharges, Emergency Care discharges, Mental Health discharges and outpatient clinic letters with the nationally published specifications and be sending these by electronic transmission using a structured messaging specification (Transfer of Care FHIR). Details of this requirement can be found in the NHS England Standard Contract technical guidance – section 39.22

If you have any questions please email: information.standards@nhs.net quoting 'Transfer of Care query'.

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