Master Glossary


Definitions of Terms

NHS Digital is aware that there are multiple sources of definitions and we recognise that there may be some crossover of terms and slight misalignment of definitions. Where such a misalignment is noted, the definition should be taken as per the context in which it is being read. The definitions in the contractual schedules and agreements generally take precedence over those in other documents, but any queries should be directed to 

Please note this Glossary is specifically to support the review and understanding of the Capabilities and Standards content.

Acronym or termDescription

Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances. The committee responsible for advising approved Prescribers about the Prescribing of certain foodstuffs and toiletries


Account Linkage

A method of linking accounts between two or more suppliers that represent the same individual so that the providers can communicate on behalf of that individual.
Account Linkage KeyThe 15 or 16 digit code enabling Master Glossary#Account Linkage which is provided by the Practice when requesting access to online services.
ACGAdjusted Clinical Group.  Johns Hopkins ACG system is a widely-used population health management and risk stratification tool.

Active ingredients

The part of a substance or compound that produces its chemical or biological effect.

For example, Ibuprofen is the active ingredient in some pain medication.

Active PatientA patient registered with a General Practice (either Fully Registered or under another Registration Type such as Temporary Registration or Private Patient) such that the patient registration date of Deduction and the registration end date are either NULL or a date in the future
Acute Prescribing

An acute prescription is one which has (usually) been given as a one-off and is not intended to be given again and is not added to your repeat prescription records.

Acute PrescriptionSee Acute Prescribing.
Acute IssueSee Acute Prescribing.

Administrative request

A request for support in relation to administrative queries (e.g. update personal details, request a fit note or test results) by a Patient/Service User
AdultAn individual whose age is 18 years or older.
A&EAccident and Emergency. A department (also sometimes known as the emergency department or casualty) that deals with urgent or life-threatening emergencies
AHRAAccess to Historic Records and Audit which may be needed for investigation purposes.
AIDCAutomatic Identification and Data Capture refers to the methods of automatically identifying objects, collecting data about them, and entering them directly into computer systems, without human involvement.


In the context of a Patient within the solution an alert is information which requires acknowledgement by the User e.g. if the user is trying to book an appointment in the past

Alternate Authorising Prescribers

A prescriber specified for an individual to be selected as the authoriser for prescriptions produced by that same individual.

AMPActual Medicinal Product (AMP) is a single dose unit of a finished dose form (unless the product is presented as a continuous dosage form), attributable to an identified supplier that contains a specified amount of an ingredient substance. It describes an actual product which is known to have been available linked to the name of a particular supplier, for example ‘Aspirin 300mg caplets (The Boots Company Plc) '.

Actual Medicinal Product Pack describes an actual product which is known to have been available linked to both the name of a particular supplier and information on the pack size of the product, for example ‘Tenormin 100mg tablets (xxxx UK Ltd) 28 tablet 2 x 14 tablets'.

ANPN Approved Non-Proprietary Name - used for the classification of drugs and is controlled by the World Health Organisation.
AppointmentAn organised contact between a specific Patient and a Health Service Provider at a specified Date / Time and location
APIServices exposed by an application so that other applications can access data and operations.


A formal re-usable model of a domain concept.

‘As needed’

‘As needed’ in the context of prescribing medicinal products and appliances to Patients means the medication can be taken “as needed” adhering to documented guidelines rather than adhering to a set schedule.

Medicines that are taken “as needed” are known as “PRN” medicines. “PRN” is a Latin term that stands for “pro re nata,” which means “as the thing is needed.”

ATCAnatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification (produced by World Health Organisation) - allocated to products based on therapeutic properties and intended organ or system on which they act. The main purpose of the ATC system is as a tool for capturing and presenting drug utilisation statistics with the aim of improving drug use both nationally and internationally. 
ATDAn Anti-tampering Device (ATD) is "the safety feature allowing the verification of whether the packaging of a medicinal product has been tampered with." Source.
Audit Trail 

An Audit Trail is a chronological record, set of records, and/or destination and source of records that provide evidence of the sequence of activities that relate to a specific operation, procedure, or event. 

AuthorityThe governing and assuring body responsible for the Capabilities and Standards framework. The Authority referred to within the Capabilities and Standards is NHS Digital.
BCPBusiness Continuity Plan

Black Triangle 

A Black Triangle symbol is assigned to any drug or vaccine if it meets any of the criteria which is:

  • a new active substance or a biosimilar medicine
  • a new combination of medicines or active substances
  • a new route of administration
  • a new drug-delivery system
  • an established medicine which is to be used in a new patient population

See Black Triangle Scheme for more information.


British Medical Association


BookingThe process through which a Slot becomes an Appointment

British Pharmacopoeia



British National Formulary aims to provide a quick reference for key information on the selection, prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines


BPC British Pharmaceutical Codex
BIBusiness Intelligence - technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making.
Business Go-LiveThe point of a Data Migration where the Target Solution is switched on for live use and becomes the primary Solution used by the organisation
Caldicott CommitteeCommittee which reviewed the use of patient-identifiable information in the NHS and produced the Caldicott report and review, see Caldicott Review: Information Governance in the Health and Care System for more information
Caldicott Guardian

A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person responsible for protecting the confidentiality of people’s health and care information and making sure it is used properly.


Call/RecallThis term is used to describe functionality which allows monitoring of Patients who require a follow up and automatically recalling them for future Appointments
CAP Common Assurance Process
CapacityA term used to determine whether an individual is able to make decisions about their own medical treatment. Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, persons aged 16 and over are assumed to have Capacity unless there is an indication otherwise
CapitationCapitation is a payment system where lump-sum payments are made to care providers based on the number of patients in a target population, to provide some or all of their care needs
CareeA type of Related Person which identifies a person who receives care from a named individual because they are unable to care for themselves, for example, due to injury or disability

A type of Related Person denoting a person who cares for a Patient(s) in some way as they do not have the Capacity to fully care for themselves, for example, due to injury or disability.

Examples of Carers are:

  • Health Care Professionals
  • Family Members
  • Friend of the Patient 
Care Coordinator

A Care Coordinator is usually a nurse, social worker or occupational therapist to manage your care plan and review it.

In the context of Personal Health Budgets, it is the named individual with responsibility for oversight of the Budget on behalf of the CCG where this is being managed as a direct payment by the Patient / Service User

Care HomeA general term used to cover care homes, nursing homes and residential homes.
Care Plan

A Care Plan sets out what support patient will get day to day and who will give it to them. It might cover:

  • medicines
  • help with money problems
  • help with housing
  • support at home
  • help to get the patient out and about outside your home
    The Care Plan also outlines any risks, including details of what should happen in an emergency or crisis.
Care WorkerA Care Worker is someone whose job involves helping people who have particular problems or special needs, for example in a Care Home.
Care TeamIt is a community of caregivers who are focused on the successful completion of tasks related to the related Care Plan. You can assign ownership of Care Plan tasks to members of the Care Team, including other health professionals, Patients, and family member
Case FindingA systematic or opportunistic process that identifies individuals (e.g. people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) from a larger population for a specific purpose for example, ‘Flu vaccination'
Case Mix Adjustment The process by which the current and/or future disease burden of an individual or population is taken into consideration when setting budgets or evaluating performance


Cautions indicate that it is possible that the medication may not be recommended in some circumstances, it is not as strong as a contraindication.

The information under Cautions can be used to assess the risks of using a drug in a patient who has co-morbidities that are also included in the Cautions for that drug.

CCG  Clinical Commissioning Group
CDSClinical Decision Support - CDS systems provide healthcare professionals with knowledge and patient-specific information, intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times, to inform clinical decisions.
ChildA person under 18 years of age (defined as under 18 for FGM documentation, and under 16 for PPFS/SPFS)
CharacteristicA symptom displayed or described by a Patient. For example, a rash, breathlessness, localised pain etc.
CitizenA person who may be user of Citizen Services that may be a patient or a patient proxy, but is not acting in the capacity of a healthcare professional.
Citizen Services

This is the term for Services which can be configured by the Practice relating to the following Capabilities:

Citizen Services AccountThe account held by a user with the Citizen Services Solution. This Account needs to be associated with the VUA Account (via Account Linkage) in order to access Citizen Services.
CIConfiguration Item or CI refers to the fundamental structural unit of a configuration management system.
ClinicianA clinician is a health care professional that works as a primary care giver of a patient in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, clinic, or patient's home. A clinician diagnoses and treats patients. Source.
Clinical ReviewA process where a qualified clinician reviews document(s), record(s) and/or other information to understand/decide if any action needs to be taken. Clinical Reviews are particularly important when automated administrative processes accept and file documents that may contain important clinical information about the health and care of a Patient
Clinical TermA human-readable description and associated machine-readable coding for a Concept in a Clinical Terminology which can be used to record and retrieve clinical information
Clinical Terminology

A structured list of Concepts and their associated Clinical Terms for use in clinical practice. Clinical Terminologies provide for the detailed description of the care and treatment of Patients and contain terms for diseases, symptoms, operations, treatments, drugs and healthcare administration.

Standard Clinical Terminology is a necessary component for the safe transfer of clinical information, electronic exchange of clinical information and ensuring Patient safety. See Master Glossary#SNOMED for current Clinical Terminology being used.

CMDB A Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is a repository of information related to all the components of an information system. It contains the details of the configuration items (CI) in the IT infrastructure.
Communication ChannelA method by which Practice Staff and Patients can communicate – including email, phone, post or in person
Communication TypeCommunication Type is determined by the reason and/or content of the communication. Examples include Appointment reminders, Test results, Repeat Prescription reminders.
CompetenceA term used to determine whether a Patient is able to make decisions about their own medical treatment, without the need for parental consent or knowledge. 

Competence Assessment

The assessment of an individual's ability to be ‘Competent’, usually performed by clinicians.


Competence Assessment Decision

The decision made during the Competence Assessment, which can be one of the following:

  • Competent
  • Not Competent
Competency AssessmentA test to demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from training. Examples may include observed exercises, questionnaires, quizzes or practical demonstrations.
Complete RecordInformation containing a record of an Online Consultation request, its response and outcome. This will exclude any attachments (files and images) provided in the Solution

"A clinical idea to which a unique concept identifier has been assigned... Concepts are associated with descriptions that contain human-readable terms describing the concept... Concepts are related to one another by relationships that provide a formal logical definition of the concept." Source.

ConnectedWhen a computer or device is connected to the internet. A synonym of online. Also see Master Glossary#disconnected.
Connector SchemeSchemes that facilitate the pathway to non-clinical third sector services

Patient related interaction recorded by a Health Care Professional (HCP) in the Patient Record.

There are two main types of Consultation:

  1. An interaction between a HCP and a patient.
  2. An interaction between two HCPs to exchange information relating to the care of a Patient or relating to a Citizen.

Consultations include:

  • Planned and unplanned interactions
  • An interaction between a HCP and a patient.
  • An interaction between two HCPs to exchange information relating to the care of a Patient or relating to a Citizen.
  • Indirect interaction - such as a HCP reviewing and updating a Patient Record on receipt of some test results
ConsentAny freely given specific and informed indication of an individual’s agreement to personal data relating to them being processed and shared
ContraindicationA specific medical reason for not using or continuing to use a medicine or treatment because it might be harmful
Consumer SupplierIn the context of IM1, Consumer is the Supplier whose solution invokes the APIs or processes data files exposed by the Provider Supplier
Core Clinical RecordA core electronic record relating to a Patient/Service User, containing personal, administrative and clinical information about the Patient/Service User. For GPIT settings these are Solutions meeting the GPIT Futures Patient Information Maintenance Capability
COTSA Commercial Off-The-Shelf product is a commercially available product that may be purchased from a licensed company with maintenance and support options available. In comparison a bespoke product is unique and developed for the functions specified by the consumer.
CPNPCommunity Practitioner Nurse Prescriber
CSUCommissioning Support Unit
Cut-Over Period

Period when a Practice or other organisation involved in a Data Migration may have limited access to both the Source and Target Solutions and manual and duplicate entry of data will be required. This is defined as the time between the final data extract being taken by the Source Solution Supplier to the point of Business Go-Live when the Service Recipient is using the Target Solution as the primary Solution. 

This period should be completed within 72 hours and outside core working hours as far as is reasonably practicable, otherwise it will need to be reported to NHS Digital.

Data Archetype(s)Collections of data items that support the standard recording of information about a particular clinical Concept, such as a blood pressure reading
DecommissionTo send a message to the UK Medicines Verification Organisation (securmed) to change the status of the identified product to show that it has been supplied to the public. This is a requirement of the Falsified Medicines Directive and applies to General Practices and other types of Healthcare Institution.
DeductionThe process by which a patient is removed from a General Practices’ Patient List as they are no longer registered at the General Practice. Common reasons for Patient Deduction include the Patient being Fully Registered with another General Practice, death, military service, Patient is sent to prison, or the Patient emigrates
Delayed PrescribingA delayed prescription is akin to an Master Glossary#Acute Prescribing with an optional delayed start (akin to a post-dated prescription) and an optional constrained end date.
Demographic Information

Information on the characteristics of a particular individual, such as age, sex, and the address at which they live.

Note: A Patient's NHS Number is also generally considered to be part of a Patient's Demographic Information

DeployedThe term Deployed is used to mean that the supplier has made the update available to the customer and has made the customer aware of it.
Direct Access ServiceA Direct Access Service is a service where Patients are directly referred from primary and community care to the Direct Access Service for both diagnostic assessment and treatment. Source.

Direct Message

Messaging functionality that offers real-time text transmission.
DisconnectedWhen a computer or device is not connected to the internet. A synonym of offline. Also see Master Glossary#connected.
DispensaryA location where medicinal drugs are dispensed.
DOBDate of Birth
Document PropertiesThe characteristics inherent to the document. This could be its original format, process or system of origin, file name, title, date of creation, author and so on.
Document AttributesThe information or meaning we add to the document to increase its usefulness in the solution, process or system of classification.
DoLSDeprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Dosage information

The information supporting the prescribing of the product in order for it to be correctly administered, for example the recommended dose, route, frequency of administration and duration of treatment.

DDDDefined Daily Dose assumed average maintenance dose per day for a drug used for its main indication in Adults
DDEDocumented Data Extract
DevMAC Development Milestone Achievement Certificate
DHSCDepartment of Health and Social Care

A SUS portal to enable providers to securely transfer data to DSCROs (Data Services for Commissioners Regional Office).


DM+DDictionary of medicines and devices. This contains unique identifiers and associated textual descriptions for representing medicines and medical devices in information systems and electronic communications. See
DMSDomain Message Specification
DNA'Did Not Attend', Primarily associated with Appointments as a status 'label'
DNACPRDo Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
DN/HVdistrict nurse/health visitor
DNSDomain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical decentralised naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet or a private network.
Drug Group

The drug group or drug classification is a term used to describe medications that are grouped together because of their similarity:

  • by active ingredients of drugs according to the organ or system on which they act

  • by their therapeutic, pharmacological and chemical properties

For example, the therapeutic classifications defined in the British National Formulary (BNF) or Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification System (WHO).

Drug Tariff

Drug Tariff outlines:

  • what will be paid to pharmacy contractors for NHS services provided either for reimbursement or for remuneration
  • the rules to follow when dispensing
  • the value of the fees and allowances you will be paid
  • the drug and appliance prices you will be paid

Data Services for Commissioners Regional Offices.

These are regional offices which support the information needs of commissioners with the provision of appropriate data controls. The service allows CCGs, local authority public health teams and specialised commissioners to plan and commission healthcare services.


DWPDepartment for Work & Pensions
e-BGe-Business Gateway
e-BMe-Business & Messaging
ECGAn electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple test that can be used to check your heart's rhythm and electrical activity. Source.
e-GPFRElectronic GP Factual Reports
ePACT2ePACT2 is an online application which gives authorised users access to prescription data.

e-Referral Service. The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) combines electronic booking with a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic Appointments. Patients can choose their initial hospital or clinic Appointment, book it in the GP surgery at the point of referral, or later at home on the phone or online

See e-Referrals Service (e-RS)


Electronic implementation of the form MED3. This form is a 'fit note', the statement of fitness and work

See eMED3 (Fit Notes)

EndorsementPrescription endorsements which pharmacy teams may need to use. Accurate endorsement is vital to ensuring correct payment from the Pricing Authority. Source.

End User

Individuals using the system, for example, practice staff, GPs

EOL/EOLC PlanEnd of Life, End of Life Care - a plan that contains the wishes of the Patient regarding their care in the latter days of their life

Electronic Prescription Service. The National Service that enables Prescribers, such as GPs and practice nurses, to send prescriptions electronically to a dispenser (such as a pharmacy) of a Patient's choice making the Prescribing and dispensing process more efficient and convenient for Patients

See Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) - Prescribing

EPRElectronic Patient Record. 

An assessment of the effectiveness of training. This is done by collecting data on whether the learners were satisfied with the training, whether they learned something and are able to apply those skills at their workplace.

Falsified Medicines Directive

"The European Falsified Medicines Directive [2011/62/EU] (commonly known as FMD) has been brought in to address the issue of falsified medicines entering the legitimate medicines supply chain across Europe. Falsified medicines include those with little or no active ingredients, the wrong active ingredients, fake or tampered packaging, and those where products and/or packaging have been stolen for re-use or re-sale.

Under the Directive, all new packs of prescription medicines placed on the market in Europe from 9th February 2019 onwards will have to bear two safety features: a unique identifier (UI) in the form of a 2D data matrix (barcode) and an anti-tampering device (ATD)." Source.

Directive 2011/62/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011

Falsified Medicinal Product

Any medicinal product with a false representation of: (a) its identity, including its packaging and labelling, its name or its composition as regards any of the ingredients including excipients and the strength of those ingredients; (b) its source, including its manufacturer, its country of manufacturing, its country of origin or its marketing authorisation holder; or (c) its history, including the records and documents relating to the distribution channels used. This definition does not include unintentional quality defects and is without prejudice to infringements of intellectual property rights.

Source: Directive 2011/62/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011

FCAPFinancial and Commercial Approvals Panel. Internal to NHS Digital and is the senior sign-off panel for any spending over a certain threshold.
Federated WorkingThis describes multiple Practices coming together in some form of collaboration. Can be based on the desire to work more collaboratively or at greater scale by sharing costs and resources (for instance, workforce or facilities), or as a vehicle to bid for enhanced services contracts. See BMA guidance on GP networks and federations.
FGMFemale Genital Mutilation
FGM RISFemale Genital Mutilation Risk Indication Service
FGM RIS DMSFGM RIS Domain Message Specification
FHIRFast Healthcare Interoperability Resources is a standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically.
FHIR ProfileA FHIR Resource that has been constrained for use in a specific use case or jurisdiction.
FHIR Resource

FHIR Resources are a collection of information models that define the data elements, constraints and relationships for the “business objects” most relevant to healthcare.

FMDFalsified Medicines Directive.  An EU-wide scheme to prevent fake medicines from use across the supply chain by uniquely identifying every pack and item and tracking its handling from manufacturer to dispensing or use.
FP10'sThe standard set of NHS FP10 Prescription forms which are used to record and control NHS Prescriptions. To enable the NHS to pay for medicines dispensed in Primary Care, the correct Prescription form must be used. Different types of Prescribers use different versions of the standard NHS FP10 Prescription form to identify their Prescriber type
FormularyA formulary is a list of medicines approved for prescription in particular healthcare organisations and/or across a healthcare system
Fully RegisteredA Patient Registration Type where the Patient is legally entitled to receive the full range of Medical Services available through the NHS
Fully Specified Term(s)The full description or Clinical Term attributed to a Concept in a Clinical Terminology. It is usually differentiated from the other accepted terms, such as Preferred or Synonymous Terms, which are associated with a Concept.
General PracticeA legal entity that provides Medical Services and is the primary contact point for a Patient requiring treatment and/or care. An individual General Practice will have its own Organisational Data Services code
General PractitionerA qualified medical practitioner who is registered with the GMC to provide a range of Medical Services.


Generic in the context of prescribing medicinal products and appliances to Patients means the generic version of a medication.

See Brand names versus generics for more information.

Gillick Competent

Children under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment if they are believed to have enough intelligence, Master Glossary#Competence and understanding to fully appreciate what is involved in their treatment. This is known as being "Gillick competent".


GMC code A doctor who is registered on the General Medical Council (GMC) List of Registered Medical Practitioners has a GMC reference number which is a 7-digit number which is retained for life.
GMP codeODS releases data about GPs that contain practitioner identifiers provided by the NHS Prescription Service. This identifier is known as the GNC (General National Code), prescribing code, PPD code or GMP (General Medical Practitioner) code. The NHS Prescription Service  maintain these codes in support of their activity to track prescribing activity and reimburse dispensaries. However, they are prescribing cost centre codes and are therefore not unique – a GP has a code for every practice they work at.
GNCODS releases data about GPs that contain practitioner identifiers provided by the NHS Prescription Service. This identifier is known as the GNC (General National Code), prescribing code, PPD code or GMP (General Medical Practitioner) code. The NHS Prescription Service  maintain these codes in support of their activity to track prescribing activity and reimburse dispensaries. However, they are prescribing cost centre codes and are therefore not unique – a GP has a code for every practice they work at.
GP Connect"GP Connect will support GP practices by making medical information about patients available to the right clinician, across care settings." Source.
GPESGeneral Practice Extraction Service, a service that collects data from GP clinical systems for a range of purposes including payments
GPGv4The Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records - some content is outdated, but has general guidance around GP electronic records. 

GP2GP allows patients' electronic health records to be transferred directly, securely, and quickly between their old and new practices.


GP Forward View (GPFV)

The General Practice Forward View (GP Forward View), published in April 2016, commits to an extra £2.4 billion a year to support general practice services by 2020/21.

It will improve patient care and access, and invest in new ways of providing primary care.


General Practice Systems of Choice framework. It is the contractual framework to supply IT systems and services to GP Practices and organisations in England. This contract ends in December 2018 and will be replaced by GP IT Futures


General Practice Systems of Choice Replacement

GPWTGP Workload Tool

Group Video Consultations

An interaction between a HCP (or multiple HCPs) and a group of Patients/Service Users at the same time.
GSLGeneral Sales List
HCAHealth Care Assistant
HCPC code

A health & care professional registered on the Health & Care Professions Council register has a reference number which is unique.

HCPHealth or Care Professional
HDEHealth Disability and Employment Directorate (DWP)
Header fileFile that contains Master Glossary#Metadata 
Healthcare InstitutionThis is defined in the EU REGULATION (EU) 2016/ 161 as "a hospital, in- or outpatient clinic or health centre" and includes General Practices.
Health Broker

In the context of Personal Health Budgets, a representative from a third-party organisation who supports and co-ordinates the purchase of equipment, treatments and services by the Patient / Service User or their representative or nominee

Health Care OrganisationAn organisation that provides healthcare services to the NHS and/or any NHS Patient
HEEHealth Education England
HESHospital Episode Statistics (HES) is a database containing details of all admissions, A and E attendances and outpatient appointments at NHS hospitals in England.
HL7Health Level Seven refers to a set of international standards for transfer of clinical and administrative data between software applications used by various healthcare providers.
HRGHealth Resource Group.  Standard groupings of clinically similar treatments which use common levels of healthcare resource.
HSCNThe Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) will replace Master Glossary#N3 as a way for health and care organisations to access and exchange electronic information.

The World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the global standard which categorises and reports diseases in order to compile health information related to deaths, illness or injury; the current version is at 10th revision.

IdentityA collection of attributes that uniquely define a person.
Identity VerificationThe process of verifying the identity of an individual (determining that the individual is the owner of the Claimed Identity in the context of the Practice), including creating the Identity Verification Record.
Identity Verification RecordThe record of the Identity Verification that includes but is not limited to the evidence provided to establish the identity, as per the ‘Patient Online: Identity Verification Guidance for general practice’.
IGSoCThe Information Governance Statement of Compliance (IGSoC) is the process by which organisations enter into an agreement with us for access to the NHS National Network (N3) and resultant services. The process includes elements that set out terms and conditions for use of our systems and services, including the N3, in order to preserve their integrity.
IHEIntegrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information.
IHE MHDMobile access to Health Documents (MHD) profile defines a simple HTTP interface to a Document Sharing environment. The MHD profile is intended for any system that prefers the simplified HTTP RESTful technology rather than the more robust technology used in XDS.
IHE XDSCross-Enterprise Document Sharing (XDS) provides a standards-based specification for managing the sharing of documents between healthcare settings, such as GP surgeries and acute care.
IMCAIndependent Mental Capacity Advocate
IQAPInformation Quality Assurance Programme
Inactive PatientA Patient who is no longer registered with a General Practice as the Patient has either being Deducted from the Practice List, or the end date for a Patients Registration has been recorded and reached.

In the context of a Patient within the solution an indication to a user is to show some information without an acknowledgement needed e.g. indicating the fields that need to be completed within a registration record

Also see Master Glossary#Alert


Indications in the context of prescribing medicinal products and appliances to Patients are the reasons to use a certain treatment.

Information Governance

The Authority specified guidance that brings together relevant legislation, standards, and best practice regarding the way in which organisations process or handle information.  In particular, this applies to the personal and sensitive data relating to Patients and Service Users, but also includes corporate information such as financial and accounting records. 

See and Information Governance

Instalment Prescribing

Only used when prescribing Schedule 2 controlled drugs plus the following specific controlled drugs: Buprenorphine, Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Diazepam. Used to control levels of medication possessed by the Patient. Medication is dispensed in intervals and can have a variable dose per day.


Integrated Care SystemIntegrated Care Systems bring together NHS commissioners, providers and local authorities to plan how to improve health and care for the populations they serve.
IntegrationTwo or more solutions are integrated if custom code has been written to allow them to connect together and exchange data.


Interactions in the context of prescribing medicinal products and appliances to Patients are when the effects of a drug are altered by the presence of another drug, a chemical or food.

Interface MechanismThe term “Interface Mechanism” means any mechanism by which any two systems (for example, a Principal Clinical System and Subsidiary Module) exchange data or otherwise integrate between themselves.  
INNInternational Non proprietary Names (INN) facilitate the identification of pharmaceutical substances or active pharmaceutical ingredients. Each INN is a unique name that is globally recognized and is public property. A nonproprietary name is also known as a generic name. Source.
INTEROPenINTEROPen is an open collaboration of individuals, industry, standards organisations and health and care providers, who have agreed to work together to accelerate the development of open standards for interoperability in the health and social care sector.
InteroperabilityInteroperable systems are systems that do not require bespoke changes to be able to exchange data, even if they were not initially designed to work together.
Interoperability StandardA definition of APIs and integrations that will contain all the information suppliers need to integrate their system with other systems or parts of the system regardless of which organisation or programme developed them.
InterventionAction taken with a Patient to help treat or cure a condition. An example would be provision of injection.
ITILThe Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.
ITKThe Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) is a set of common specifications, frameworks and implementation guides that support interoperability.

A person who participates in a training session and includes end users, trainers (Train the Trainer), back office staff, etc.

Learning Needs Analysis (LNA)

A method to identify whether there is a training need and what training is required by each learner

Legal Basis (for Service Registration or for the VUA-Patient Association)The basis in common law or arising from legislation that establishes that access by one individual to information about another is lawful. The Legal Basis is recorded for registration of Online Patient Services.
Legitimate RelationshipThe relationship between a General Practice and a Patient that gives General Practice Staff Members a legitimate reason for viewing/using the details of a particular Patient’s Record. Legitimate Relationships can be considered similar to temporary confidentiality contracts that restrict and control access to sensitive personal data. A Legitimate Relationship is considered to exist between a General Practice and its Active Patients and is generally considered to end one month after the Patient is no longer registered at the General Practice (i.e. one month after the Patient becomes an Inactive Patient)
LDRLocal Digital Roadmap
Leicester Practice Risk ScoreThe Leicester Practice Risk Score is recommended by NICE and used by Diabetes UK for the identification of those at risk of diabetes.  The score identifies people who may be at high risk of diabetes or currently have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes using data on age, sex, BMI, ethnicity, family history of diabetes and anti-hypertensive use.


Where 'Level' is used in the Standards, the keywords Must, Should, May are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119

• Must : This word, or the terms “required” or “shall”, means that the definition is an absolute requirement of the specification

• Should: This word means that there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular item, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course. This denotes an expectation within the requirement which must be addressed, but for which a work around or mitigation will be considered by the Authority during On-boarding or Compliance assurance.

• May: This word means that an item is truly optional. One vendor may choose to include the item because a particular marketplace requires it or because the vendor feels that it enhances the product while another vendor may omit the same item. Delivery of such requirements is at the discretion of the Supplier. However, it should be noted that NHS Digital has expressed a desire for development in this area.

Link WorkerSupports and co-ordinates Patient / Service Users non clinical third sector service care in conjunction with the Patient / Service User

Local Organisation

The organisation that the supplier is delivering the training to, for example the local care commissioning group or practice.


Linked Online Service Account. This describes an Online Service Account (OSA) which has been linked to a Patient by using the VUA Linkage key.

See Citizen Access for further information on online accounts

LPALasting Power of Attorney
MARMedicines Administration Record


Maturing Child

A Child aged 11 – 15 inclusive.
MCPMultispecialty Community Provider
MED3Form used by GPs for medical statements (Fit notes)
Medicinal Product Unique IdentifierAlso known as the UI. This is the European Medicines Verification System identifier assigned to a Medicinal Product by the European Medicines Verification System. The Falsified Medicines Directive requires that the UI is printed onto the packaging of the Medicinal Product.
Medicines ActThe act of Parliament of the United Kingdom that governs the control of medicines for human use and for veterinary use. The act specifies the classification of medicines into categories including Prescription Only Medicines (POMs), Pharmacy Medicines (P) General Sales List (GSLs)
Medical ServiceA contract mechanism to provide Care services via General Practices and other Health Care Organisations.
Medical ServicesA term that encompasses all General Medical Services, Primary Medical Services, Alternative Provider Medical Services and any future contract mechanisms to provide Care services via General Practices and other Health Care Organisations

Medication Type

The type of prescribed medication, for example:

  • An Acute Issue

  • A Repeat Issue

  • A Repeatable Batch Issue


Message Exchange for Social Care and Health 

See Messaging Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH)


Data that describes the structure or content of an object and provides context or additional information about other data

MIManagement Information is used to manage and support managerial decisions within an organisation.
MTDMessage Tracking Database
N3The internal NHS dedicated Network, where sites are prefaced with nww., not www. N3 is the broadband network connecting all NHS locations and staff across England
Named Accountable GP

The Named Accountable GP is responsible for the care package the Patient receives. All registered Patients must have a Named Accountable GP.

The Named Accountable GP is largely a role of oversight. It reassures Patients they have one GP who is responsible for their care.

See BMA Guidance.

National Decision Support ResourceNational resources that can be used to support clinical decision making. Currently, the only one recognised National Decision Support Resource is NICE Evidence Services, although others may be made available in the future
NRLSNational Record Locator Service - it will unify patient records across the NHS without needing to dictate where those records might be stored.
National ServicesServices provided by the NHS. Examples include NHAIS and Summary Care Records.
National StandardStandard definitions, Requirements and/or way of working set at a national level by a recognised body, such as the UK Terminology Centre.
National SystemsInfrastructure and systems provided by the NHS to support one or more NHS processes and/or National Services. Examples include the systems that support the Spine Directory Service
NACSNational Administrative Codes Service - this is the old term for Organisation Data Service (ODS)
NCMNew Care Models
NCM Technology Model

New Care Models Technology Model.

The model is a tool to support and guide stakeholders involved in establishing and planning
technology programmes and solutions for their local New Care Model initiative. The
Technology Model provides a broad set of generic business and technology requirements
that can accelerate and improve the accuracy of locality’s statements of their required
digital capabilities.

Tech Model User Guide

NHSNational Health Service
NHAISNational Health Applications and Infrastructure Services. This is a National Service that is responsible for managing a number of NHS processes including the distribution of funds to General Practices based on Patients Lists. This is due to be replaced by Master Glossary#PCRM (Primary Care Record Management)

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) provides central services to NHS bodies, patients and the public, such as managing the NHS pension scheme, issuing European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC), and administering payments to pharmacists and dentists.


NHSBSA PSNHS Business Services Authority Prescription Services - works in partnership with NHSD in populating and maintaining dm+d. It is also the organisation responsible for the reimbursement of medicines prescribed in primary care.
NHS Englandsee
NHS Number

A unique 10-digit identifier that is assigned to everyone who is registered with the NHS in England


NHS SpineThe Spine is a collection of national applications, services and directories that support the NHS in the exchange of information across national and local NHS IT systems
NICE Evidence ServicesThe suite of services that provide internet access to high quality authoritative evidence and best practice to support clinical decision making, available at
NINONational Insurance Number
NIPNurse Independent Prescriber
NMC code

A nurse who is registered on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Register has a professional standards code.


Nominated PharmacyPatients nominate a Pharmacy for use with the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).
EPS Nominated PharmacySee Nominated Pharmacy.
Non-human Resources

Resources available to a General Practice for use such as:

  • Rooms
  • Equipment 
  • Portable Equipment

Non-Trusted Communications Channel 

Non-Trusted Communication Channels include:

  • Email (where Email Address is not verified)
  • SMS (where Mobile Phone Number is not verified)
  • Phone call (where Identity of the individual and the phone number has not been verified)
  • Post
  • In Person (to a non-verified Citizen)
NotifyWhen a Practice User is in the solution but not in the context of a Patient they will be notified (e.g. a communication has been received)
NRDNational RBAC Database – a source of nationally defined roles and activities for system users.
NTP ProtocolNetwork Time Protocol (NTP) is a TCP/IP protocol used to synchronise computer clocks across data networks.

Organisation Data Service. Responsible for the publication of all organisation and practitioner codes and oversees national policy and standards with regard to the majority of organisation codes

ODS codeOrganisation Data Service code. A code that uniquely identifies an organisation across all of health and social care.

Online Consultation

An interaction between a HCP and a Patient/Service User using a Solution that supports communication to happen at different times, e.g. the patient can submit a request when convenient for them and then the HCP can review and respond at a later time.

Uses include:

  • Planned and unplanned interactions between a HCP and a Patient/Service User

  • Self-help and signposting

  • Symptom checking

  • Triage

Online Consultation request for support

A request for support from a HCP in relation to a healthcare concern by a Patient/Service User, via an Online Consultation Solution
OPOriginal Pack - relates to providing a complete unopened pack of medication. Mainly used for containers that have to be issued unopened (i.e. it is often used in relation to inhalers which in dm+d must be prescribed as the number of doses - 1OP may contain 200 doses, but another OP may contain 300 doses).
Organisation ContextThe organisation being accessed by a user in the context of a Solution. Used in RBAC to determine whether access for a user is permitted in relation to data based on their selected role and the organisation details associated with that role.

Deprecated. See OSA.

Online Service Users - An OSU is a Registered Patient, who has started the Citizen Services registration process. At this stage they are not a ROSU as they have not been through the ID verification process and will have limited access to Citizen Services (e.g. book and cancel Appointments).

Note: An OSU could already be a ROSU at another practice as 'Self' as a Patient, or 'Proxy' for a Patient.

See Citizen Access for further information on online accounts


Online Service Account - An OSA is an account used by a Registered Patient, who has started the Citizen Services registration process. At this stage they have not been through the ID verification process and will have limited access to Citizen Services (e.g. book and cancel Appointments).

Note: An OSA could already have a VUA-Patient Association at another practice as 'Self' as a Patient, or 'Proxy' for a Patient.

See Citizen Access for further information on online accounts

OTCOver The Counter
OutcomesOutcomes framework is a set of national outcome goals for measuring the overall performance of the NHS
PIn the context of prescribing medication this is Pharmacy Medicines
Pathology RequestingThe requesting of pathology services via a 3rd party provided pathology requesting system
PatientAn individual registered as a Patient at the Practice, receiving or registered to receive medical treatment
Patient AlertAn indication of a Patient characteristic that is shown to the Practice User when relevant.
Patient CohortA group of Patient Records that are required to have the same/similar actions performed against them. For example, a Patient Cohort may be created so that the Patients may be sent a similar communication to invite them to make an Appointment with the General Practice as part of a particular screening programme
Patient Group Direction

A Patient Group Direction (PGD) is a written instruction for the sale, supply and/or administration of medicines to groups of patients who may not be individually identified before presentation for treatment. Source.

PGDs allow specified health care professionals to supply and / or administer a medicine directly to a patient with an identified clinical condition without the need for a prescription or an instruction from a prescriber. The health care professional working within the PGD is responsible for assessing that the patient fits the criteria set out in the PGD. Source.

Patient Group Directions (PGDs) provide a legal framework that allows some registered health professionals to supply and/or administer specified medicines to a pre-defined group of patients, without them having to see a prescriber (such as a doctor or nurse prescriber). Supplying and/or administering medicines under PGDs should be reserved for situations in which this offers an advantage for patient care, without compromising patient safety. Source.

The Human Medicines Regulations 2012:

Patient Personal Information

Information for the Patient which forms part of the Patient Record that includes:

  • Patient Demographic Information
  • Preference Details
  • Related Persons
Patient Matching

The process of matching Demographic Information to a specific Patient Record. It is used to refer to either

a) The process of matching Patient Demographic Information to a record on PDS, or

b) Matching Patient Demographic Information in a document during filing to a specific Patient Record within the Principle System

Patient RecordAn electronic record relating to a Patient, containing personal, administrative and clinical information about the Patient.

Patient Record held in the Patient Information Maintenance (PIM) Solution

An electronic record relating to a Patient/Service User, containing personal, administrative and clinical information about the Patient/Service User held in Solutions meeting the GPIT Futures Patient Information Maintenance Capability
Patient RegistriesIt is an organized system that uses observational study methods to collect uniform data (clinical and other) to evaluate specified outcomes for a population defined by a particular disease, condition, or exposure, and that serves one or more predetermined scientific, clinical, or policy purposes.
Patients Responsible GP and Patients Responsible HAPatients Responsible General Practitioner and Patients Responsible Health Authority respectively. These are two data items used by the NHAIS Minimum Data Set. Historically, a Patient was registered to a specific GP in a specific Health Authority. Current practice is for Patients to be registered with a specific General Practice rather than a named GP, and Health Authorities have been replaced by a new NHS commissioning structure.  However, as the NHAIS still supports these data items as part of the Minimum Data Set, Principal Systems will be required to submit this information to NHAIS even though it is no longer supported in General Practice in order to interface with NHAIS
Patient Specific Direction

A PSD is the traditional written instruction, signed by a doctor, dentist, or non-medical prescriber (hereafter referred to as “the prescriber”) for medicines to be supplied and/or administered to a named patient after the prescriber has assessed the patient on an individual basis.

In practice, a PSD may be referred to as a “prescription” by those who write and follow them because this indicates that it is written by a prescriber. But this should not be confused with an FP10 or other written prescription given to the patient for supply from a pharmacy or dispensary. Source.

PBCLPathology Bounded Code List - provides a defined or bounded subset of clinical codes (e.g. SNOMED CT) for use in laboratory to GP messaging
PCWTPrimary Care Web Tool
PCRM  Primary Care Record Management (NHAIS replacement)
PCSPrincipal Clinical System – the system that provides the essential functionality to support clinical and administrative processes within the Practice.
PDSPersonal Demographics Service – an electronic database of Patient demographic information
Personal Data

Means any information relating to a Data Subject, where a Data Subject means an identifiable natural person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;

PFSPatient Facing Services - A combined term for the OPS Subsidiary Capabilities
PHBPersonal Health Budget
PHRPersonal Health Record
PIDPersonal Identifiable Data
Pilot Training

Pilot training is a walkthrough of the training method and materials with a representative target audience to effectively test the training prior to implementation/roll out. Pilots should be carried out for all new capabilities.

PINPrior Information Notice. The procurement milestone that triggers market engagement.
PIPPharmacist Independent Prescriber
Planned Encounter

An Encounter with a Patient that is planned in advance, e.g. as the result of an Appointment

PoCProof of Concept
POMPrescription Only Medicines
PPDPrescription Pricing Division. A part of the NHS Business Services Authority.
PracticeA collection of clinical staff led by a General Practitioner (or several) providing primary health care services to patients.
Practice UserA member of the Practice staff using the solution.
PreferenceA recorded response to a choice indicating an individual’s preference or favoured approach to a condition, data sharing and administrative preferences. For example, when given the choice, a Patient may choose to receive Appointment reminder messages by SMS rather than by email
Preferred PharmacyThe Pharmacy chosen by a Citizen as their preferred location to have Prescriptions fulfilled.
Preferred Term(s)A Clinical Term used in a Clinical Terminology that is generally considered preferred over other Synonymous Terms for describing a particular disorder, condition, symptom or diagnosis. For example, in SNOMED CT, the Preferred Term for describing the disorder Myocardial Infarction is Myocardial Infarction, and Cardiac infarction, Heart attack and Infarction of heart are Synonymous Terms for the same disorder
PrescribeThe process through which Prescription(s) are provided to a Patient and recorded against the Patient’s Record
PrescriberA Staff Member that has appropriate authority to Prescribe certain medicinal products to Patients
PrescriptionThe set of instructions provided by a Prescriber which denotes what medical product a Patient is to receive and will include the dosage and frequency of dosage.
Primary CareHealth care provided by General Practices and other Primary Care organisations locally such as dental practices, community pharmacies and high street optometrists. Primary Care organisations generally act as the first and principal point of contact for Patients, providing them with Medical Services and coordinating other specialists care that the Patient may need, such as access to Secondary Care services
Primary Medical ServicesThe services provided by General Practices and Primary Care organisations under the Primary Medical Services contract
Privacy OfficerThe person, nominated by an organisation that has access to information about NHS patient records, that is responsible for monitoring the viewing activity of their users, ensuring IG requirements are adhered to and access is limited to personal information for patients they have a clinical need to do so at the time
Programme BoardThe NHS D board chaired by the Senior Responsible Owner from NHS England, Morfydd Williams.


Proprietary in the context of prescribing medicinal products and appliances to Patients means the Proprietary or Brand version of a medication.

See Brand names versus generics for more information.

Provisionally FileThe filing of a document against a Patient Record without the document being linked to specific data items within the record
ProviderIn the context of IM1, a Provider Supplier is one whose Solution provides a set of APIs or Data Extracts for a suitable Consumer to process 
ProxyAn individual acting on behalf of a Patient/Service User (e.g. carer, family member, for the Online Consultation Capability someone representing the Health Care Organisation )
PRSBProfessional Record Standards Body - develops national standards for the structure and content of health and social care records -

Personal Spine Information Service

QOF  Qualities Outcome Framework
QRISK®QRISK is a predictive algorithm for cardiovascular disease that uses traditional risk factors, such as age, blood pressure, smoking status, etc.

Clinical radiologists use various imaging techniques including but not limited to:

  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The Radiology Service provides diagnostic, staging, re-staging and interventional procedures for patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.


Referral Assessment Service


ReablementA short and intensive service, usually delivered in the home, which is offered to people with disabilities and those who are frail or recovering from an illness or injury. Source.

Refresher Training

Additional training delivered to users already trained who need extra help or reinforcement of how to use the system before it is implemented, due to issues with competency or understanding or the quality of training provided.

Repeat AuthorisationA prescriber-authorised repetition of an Master Glossary#Acute Prescribing
Repeatable AuthorisationA prescription valid for an authorised number of issues

Repeatable Batch Issue

An individual issue as part of a Repeatable Authorisation
Repeat DispensingRepeat dispensing allows a patient to obtain repeated supplies of their medication or appliances without the need for the prescriber to hand sign authorised repeat prescriptions each time. This allows the prescriber to authorise and issue a batch of repeat prescriptions until the patient needs to be reviewed. The prescriptions are then available for dispensing at the specified interval by the patient’s nominated dispenser
Repeat IssueAn individual issue of a Repeat Medication
Repeat PrescriptionA repeat medication/prescription is a medication that a Health Care Professional has authorised on your file which can be supplied for a certain period of time on a regular basis without having to see your doctor each time.
Repeat Prescribing/MedicationSee Repeat Prescription.
RHSIn the context of a prescription this is Right-hand side
RBACRole Based Access Control. The defined model for consistent access rights that Suppliers are required to build into their solutions. The access rights governed by the RBAC model focus on User access to GP Clinical IT System functionality. RBAC information is stored in the Spine Directory Service
RCGPRoyal College of General Practitioners. See
Record Access Level

This describes the level of access the Citizen has to a Patient Record as per the requirements in View Record - Citizen

Reference Data

Data that define a set of permissible values to be used across multiple systems which are only revised occasionally and are subject to change control.

ReferralThe process where a Referrer / Requestor applies for a specific specialist consultation and/or treatment on behalf of a Patient. Referrals can be differentiated from Requests as they may require the Patient to attend a Consultation / Encounter at another organisation and/or with a different clinician. A Referral may initiate transfer of Patient care to the specialist or alternate organisation.
Registered Practice

The General Practice where a Patient is Fully Registered to receive Medical Services. Patients have one Registered Practice. When a Patient Fully Registers at a General Practice, any previous registrations with other practices are deemed inactive (i.e. the Patient becomes an Inactive Patient at the practice where they were previously registered). A patient may temporarily register at a Practice for up to three months after which they may re-register as a temporary patient or permanently register with that Practice so that it becomes their Registered Practice.

Registration Authority (RA)A Registration Authority (RA) is a function, usually within a NHS organisation, that carries out the identity checks of prospective smartcard users and assigns an appropriate access profile to the health professional's role as approved by the employing organisation.
Registration TypeThe categorisation that indicates the type and extent of Medical Services a Patient may receive at a General Practice. See GP Choice
RequestAn application for a qualified person and/or organisation to conduct a specific test or investigation, such as a Pathology test. Requests can be differentiated from Referrals as they do not involve the Patient attending a Consultation / Encounter at another organisation
Request ItemAn application by a Referrer / Requestor for a qualified individual and/or organisation to conduct a consultation, course of treatment, investigation, test or other action on behalf of a Patient
ResidentA generic term referring to a patient or service user who resides within a Care Home.
Risk ProfilingUsing data about the whole population to gain an understanding of health needs based on how risk and morbidity are distributed across that population

Deprecated. See VUA.

Registered Online Service User. For an individual to be able to use OPS, they must be approved as a ROSU by a Practice. ROSU does not have to be a Patient.

See Citizen Access for further information on online accounts

RPS code

A pharmacist registered on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society register has a reference number which is unique.

RTMRequirements Traceability Matrix
Run-Off periodThe Run-Off period is the period of time in a Data Migration following Business Go-Live where there is dual running of the Source and Target Solutions. The Target Solution will be the primary Solution in use, however the Source Solution will remain available, likely with restricted access for reference purposes only.
SCCIStandardisation Committee for Care Information. Replaced the ISB and was replaced by the DCB in April 2017. ISB and SCCI approved standards remain in force. Source.
SCRaSummary Care Record Application
Secondary CareThe healthcare that people receive in hospital trusts and other specialist facilities following referral by a primary care clinician. The care includes unplanned emergency care or surgery, or planned specialist medical care or surgery service. Secondary Care is provided by medical specialists who are generally not the principal contact for Patients requiring care, with Patient care generally being coordinated locally by General Practices and other Primary Care organisations
SEFTSecure Electronic File Transfer
Self-care appsApplications that raise awareness and help people self-manage. Source.
Sensitive Personal Data

Means personal data including but not limited to:

(a) The racial or ethnic origin of the data subject,

(b) Political opinions,

(c) Religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature,

(d) Whether they are a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992),

(e) Physical or mental health or condition,

(f) Sexual life,

(g) The commission or alleged commission by the person of any offence, or

(h) Any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by the person, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings.

Service (and Sub-Service)

An assured offering from a Supplier in line with Services defined by GPSoC. The following three Patient Facing Services are defined within the GPSoC Framework.

  • Patients’ Transactional Services
  • Patients’ Record Access
  • Patient-Practice Communication

Sub-Service is an element of one of these Services

Record Management is not a Service as defined within the GPSoC Contract; however there are requirements under each of the Citizen Services to enable access and update of the more administrative aspects of a Patient Record or Citizen details such as demographics and preferences. As such, management of an individual’s record may be referenced within these requirements as a Service or Sub-Service.

Service AccessThe level of access granted to Citizens by the Practice for use of Citizen Services through the Citizen Capabilities and the associated Citizen Access Standard.
Service UserA Citizen that uses a Medical Service or a Citizen Service.
SDSSpine Directory Service. The National Service that provides a directory-structured facility for the maintenance and publication of Reference Data about NHS organisations, Users and National Services
SessionA period of time set aside for a particular Staff Member(s) to conduct certain activities, such as Appointments or authorise repeat Prescriptions
Session CategoryThe Category of Practice activity or clinic being offered to Patients, in one or more sessions, determined and defined by the Practice.
Session TypeThe Type of Practice activity or clinic being offered to Patients during a session. The Type is likely to be determined by the Types available in the Session Category, which is defined by the Practice.

Significant side-effects

Unwanted symptoms caused by medical treatment. They're also called "adverse effects" or "adverse drug reactions".

SlotA designated portion of time within a Session that can be allocated to perform all or part of an activity, such as an Appointment
Slot typeThe type of Practice or clinic available to Patients in a Slot. This is likely to be determined by the Session which is defined by the Practice.

Service Level Specifications


Selected List Scheme (Prescriptions that appear in Schedule 2 of the NHS (General Medical Services) Regulations - indicates that medicine is prescribable under certain circumstances)

SmartcardThe card and related passcode that is issued to NHS staff to support a common approach to protect the security and confidentiality of every patient's personal and healthcare details, including those contained in GP Clinical IT Systems. Smartcards and their associated passcodes are similar to a chip and PIN credit or debit card, but are more secure as there is no account information on the Smartcard and the passcode is more complex. All Users of GP Clinical IT Systems are expected to access the system(s) using Smartcards
SMSShort Message Service.

Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms, is a systematically organised computer processable collection of medical terms providing codes, terms, synonyms and definitions used in clinical documentation and reporting.


SolutionWithin these requirements the term ‘solution’ is a general term for any computer based functionality used by a Practice or Citizen.
Source Solution SupplierThe Supplier of the Solution the Practice has decided to migrate from
Staff MemberAn individual who has a contractual relationship with a General Practice and is considered a member of the staff or team of that General Practice. A Staff Member may be permanent or temporarily engaged with a given General Practice. A Staff Member may or may not also be a User
Staff Member Group

Defined grouping of Staff Members that share a common characteristic or purpose (e.g. belong to the same team or have similar responsibilities).

Examples of where a Staff Member Group may be used are:

  • As the recipient of Tasks

  • As reviewers of Documents

  • As a way of restricting certain actions within the Solution such as launching of specific Clinical Decision Support tools

Staffed Data CentreA data centre where data centre staff reside during normal office hours, and which is normally unstaffed outside these hours.
Staffed Data Centre (24 x 7)A data centre where data centre staff reside 24 hours per day, every day of the year.
STPSustainability and Transformation Partnership.
STUStandard for Trial Use. The designation given to early versions of HL7 standards before they become normative.
Subsidiary ModuleFunctionality that can be provided by an independent supplier, that integrates with Principal Clinical System via Interface Mechanism.  Can also be provided as part of an integrated Principal Clinical System.
Summary Care Record (SCR)The Summary Care Record is an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records that can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in the patient's direct care. 

At a minimum, the SCR holds important information about current medication, allergies and details of any previous bad reactions to medicines, the name, address, date of birth and NHS number of the patient. It may also include additional information such as details of long-term conditions, significant medical history, or specific communications needs. Source.


Secondary Uses Service


SUS-CDSSecondary Uses Service - Commissioning Data Sets form the basis of data on activity carried out by Organisations and reported centrally for monitoring and payment purposes.
SWEMWBSShort Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, a scale used to evaluate the mental well-being of a Patient / Service User
Synonymous Term(s)A term used in Clinical Terminology that is not the Preferred Term, but which can be used to describe a particular disorder, condition, symptom or diagnosis. For example, in SNOMED CT, the Preferred Term for describing the disorder Myocardial Infarction is Myocardial Infarction, and  Cardiac infarction, Heart attack and Infarction of heart are Synonymous Terms for the same disorder
Synthetic DataData and/or records that resides in the Principal Systems and can be used by some live processes, but which does not relate to any existing person, object or process (i.e. although usable by the system, the data is essentially fictitious or ‘made-up’). This data is normally created and used to test new System implementations, changes and links with National Systems
Target Solution SupplierThe Supplier of the Solution the Practice has decided to migrate to
TaskA single activity to be completed by one or many recipients. 
Technology Enabled CareTechnology Enabled Care (TEC) is a collective term for Telecare, Telehealth, Teleconsultation, Telemedicine and Telecoaching.
TECSTechnology Enabled Care Services. Technologies (such as Telecare, Telehealth, Telemedicine/Teleconsultation and self care apps) that help people to manage and control chronic illness and sustain independence. They enable the remote exchange of information, primarily between a patient or citizen and a health or care professional, to assist in diagnosing or monitoring health status or promoting good health. Source.

Technologies in the citizen’s home and communities to minimise risk and provide urgent notification of adverse events.

The use of technology to enable people to live independently in their own homes where they otherwise might not be able to do so. Much of this technology is to do with monitoring the person’s daily life, such as temperature detectors, flood detectors, gadgets that identify that a gas hob has been turned on but not lit and falls detectors. Increasingly, many of these sensors are mobile, meaning that they can be used outside of the home too. Sensors are linked to call centres and when an alert is sent, this triggers a response from the call centre or emergency services. Source.


Remote monitoring of patients in their own homes to anticipate exacerbations early and build their self-care competencies.

Telehealth directly involves clinicians as an integral part of the service. In contrast to Telecare, it is usually not linked to an emergency response service, but is used more for the regular monitoring of vital signs so that unusual activity can be detected before the situation becomes critical. Telehealth is an important tool for prevention and anticipatory care. Examples include electronic sensors or equipment such as glucometers for diabetics, blood pressure cuffs, weighing scales and pulse oxymeters that stream data back to a nurse monitoring centre via a hub unit which could be a smartphone, home computer or tablet device. These technologies monitor vital health signs remotely in your own home or while on the move and readings are automatically transmitted to an appropriately trained person who can make decisions about potential interventions in real time, without the patient needing to attend a clinic. Patients normally take their readings on a daily basis and may even answer tailored questions concerning their mood and general wellbeing. It is important to note that this is not an emergency response service. Source.


Telephone advice from a coach to support people by building knowledge, skills and confidence to change behaviours.

Provides support and guidance to enable patients to manage their own conditions. It covers factors such as lifestyle change, medication management and access to appropriate services. It can be delivered through a variety of communications channels and methods, such as mobile phone apps, Telehealth home monitoring equipment or structured phone calls with a trained member of staff. Source.


Remote peer-to-peer support between clinicians and/or consultations between patients and clinicians.

The use of video conferencing facilities (or high quality webcams) to enable remote consultations between patients and healthcare professionals, as well as peer to peer consultations between professionals. This could also be used for wound or pressure sore monitoring, or stroke support. Some therapy services (such as speech and language services) are also looking to use it to deliver services direct into a patient’s home (sometimes on a group basis). Source.

TelemedicineSee Teleconsultations. Source.
Temporary ResidentA Patient Registration Type which denotes a Patient who is registered with a General Practice and is in the local area for longer than 24 hours but less than 3 months


Training Quality Improvement (team at NHS Digital)


Includes, but is not limited to, the following delivery methods: face to face, classroom, e-learning, one to one, coaching.

Training Materials

Documents and resources used for training. Materials may include, but are not limited to: list of resources, course outlines, lesson plans, training manuals, user guides, quick reference guides, evaluation and assessment materials, trainer notes and guidance, e-learning courses, videos, online resources and online help

Training Programme

The end to end process of designing, developing, delivering and evaluating training to support the acquisition of skills, knowledge and competency in a system or functionality, to a user base.

Train the Trainer

Training Programme aimed specifically at trainers to equip them with the skills and knowledge about a system, release or capability, so they can in turn, train others (end users, other trainers, business change staff, IT support staff, etc.).

In this context, Train the Trainer is not about developing people to become trainers (i.e. equip them with the basic skills and knowledge to be able to train).


Every Patient/Service User contacting the Practice is asked to provide information on the reasons for contact. This information is used to prioritise according to urgency before providing Patients/Service Users with an appropriate service e.g. Direct Message, Video Consultation, prescription or referral.
Trial EnvironmentAn environment created by the Target System Supplier for the Practice migrating to undertake data checking
TRUDTechnology Reference data Update Distribution Service - provides a mechanism to distribute reference-data including dm+d to interested parties. This is the preferred distribution method and is hosted by NHS Digital.
Trusted Communications Channel 

Trusted Communication Channels include:

  • In Person (where the Proxy for the Patient has been verified and Practice Staff are content with the identity of the individual)
  • Email (to a verified Email Address)
  • SMS (to a verified Mobile Phone Number)
  • Phone call (where Identity of the individual has been verified / can be confirmed and the phone number has been verified)
UCRUnified Care Record - a capability that provides a view of a Patient/Service User's data from multiple health and care-related systems
UKTCUnited Kingdom Terminology Centre - responsible for the UK management of SNOMED CT, Read codes and other healthcare terminology products and clinical classifications
UK Edition of SNOMED CTThe UK Edition of SNOMED CT includes the International Core, the UK Clinical Edition and the UK Drug extension. Refsets that are published in the UK Edition will be referred to by various services and must be accessible within Solutions.

Upgrade Training

Training delivered to support a maintenance release or minor changes to existing software that have an impact on the end user.

UPSAn uninterruptible power supply, also uninterruptible power source, is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source, typically mains power, fails.
Unplanned Encounter

An Encounter that was not planned in advance. Includes out of hours, accident and emergency, NHS 111, and walk in centre Encounters 

Unstaffed Data CentreA data centre where data centre staff do not normally reside, even during normal office hours, and only attend for installation or maintenance purposes.
Usual GPPatients are no longer registered with a specific GP. Instead, they are registered with a General Practice for all Medical Services – there is the concept of having a ‘Usual GP’
Validated NHS numberA validated NHS Number is one that has the correct format and passes the NHS number check digit calculation
Verified Contact Details

Contact details which have either been verified manually by Practice Staff or automatically by the solution.

Contact details which can be verified include:

  • Email Address(es)
  • Phone number(s) 
  • Address(es)
Verified NHS number

A verified NHS Number is one where the patient’s identity has been cross-checked using demographic details on the Personal Demographics Service.

Video Consultation

An interaction between a HCP and a Patient/Service User using a video call in real time.
VMPVirtual Medicinal Product - abstract concept representing the properties of one or more clinically equivalent Actual Medicinal Products, where clinical is defined as relating to the course of a disease. The Virtual Medicinal Product describes the generic title for a product including the form and strength, for example ‘Aspirin 300mg tablets’.
VMPPVirtual Medicinal Product Pack
VTMVirtual Therapeutic Moiety - abstract representation of the substance(s), formulated as a medicinal product, intended by an authorising health care professional for use in the treatment of the patient. It is the abstract conceptual representation of the material defining the prescriber’s therapeutic intent, divorced from formulation, dose or strength; for example ‘Aspirin’. 

Verified User Account recorded by the Patient Information Maintenance Solution. In order for an individual to be able to use Citizen Services, they must be approved by the Practice. This does not have to be a Patient.

See Citizen Access for further information on online accounts

VUA IDA VUA identifier that is unique across the Practice.
VUA Linkage KeyA security token, passphrase or password to be used during the Account Linkage process.
VUA-Patient Association 

An association with a Patient that allows Citizens to access Citizen Services for themselves or on behalf of the Patient.

Self-Associations are implicit e.g. if the Citizen is the Patient.

Some Proxy Associations are implicit, e.g. there exists a familial relationship between the two, such as ‘mother-daughter’). Other Proxy Associations are created through an explicit statement of authority (e.g. by the Patient themselves, a clinician, or a court order) – Proxy Associations are supported by some form of evidence.

White ListA list of file types which may be accepted into a Principal System as part of automated processes as they are commonly used by General Practices and are considered to pose a low risk to system security and integrity so long as they have been through and passed appropriate virus checking processes
WHUWork and Health Unit (DWP/DHSC)
WorkflowA pre-configured pathway of events to be completed, from a simple single task to be performed by an individual, to a complex compilation of activities required to be performed sequentially or concurrently, by one or more parties.
XMLeXtensible Mark-up Language