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Message Exchange for Social Care and Health API

Transfer messages and large files securely across health and social care organisations using the Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) API.

About this standard

NHS England
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Active standards are stable, maintained and have been assured or endorsed for use by qualified bodies.

Standards in development are APIs or API standards in alpha or beta, meaning they are available for use but are still in progress and may change.

Deprecated standards are older versions of a standard which are being phased out.

Retired standards are not being maintained and should not be used.

Standard type
Technical standards and specifications
Show definitions of standard types

Record standards define what information to collect and how to format it, for example when registering a new patient.

Data definitions and terminologies define the format of individual data items so they can be consistently represented, for example dates or medication names. Reference sets and controlled lists are also included.

Technical standards and specifications specify how to make information available technically including how the data is structured and transported.

Information codes of practice are legal or best practice guidelines on how information should be handled.

Contact details

Link to standard

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Topics and care settings

  • Messaging
Care setting
  • Transport / Infrastructure
  • Social care

Dependencies and related standards


No known dependencies

Related standards

A number of NHS digital's APIs are messaging APIs that use MESH as the transport layer. For a full list, see the API catalogue, filtered on MESH APIs.

In particular, this includes National Event Management Service - FHIR API, for publishing and subscribing to healthcare events such as updates to patient demographic details.

Assurance and endorsements

Reference code for standards issued as requirements in England
None - not legally mandated
Quality assurance

The NHS Digital API Catalogue uses a development process based on GDS agile delivery. You can find out more about how they develop APIs, technical standards and specifications in their reference guide

Not applicable

Page last updated: 26 August 2022