NHS Spine ‘Successfully’ Rebuilt, Says HSCIC

Sooraj Shah | Computing | September 9, 2014

The NHS Spine 2 has been "successfully" rebuilt and launched, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).  The Spine is a part of the national infrastructure that stores patient information and enables electronic messaging; it was one of the only parts of the ill-fated NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) that emerged with some credibility.

The Spine handles about 400 million electronic messages a month and more than 2.6 billion information requests and amendments each year. HSCIC claims that health professionals view 2,700 Summary Care Records a day - or one every 30 seconds.  As the NHS's contracts for the Spine had come to an end, the organisation decided to move the Spine onto a new infrastructure, in an IT operation that was completed at the end of August.  The NHS has now officially stated that Spine 2 has been launched, with more than a dozen national IT systems and services being migrated to the new Spine in the space of a weekend.

The new infrastructure has been built in-house by HSCIC in collaboration with agile software provider BJSS, and with other companies such as open source firm Basho also involved.  "We have harnessed the latest technology to rebuild the most important NHS electronic system, built over 10 years ago and today relied upon by hundreds of thousands of health staff and patients every single day," said HSCIC's chief executive, Andy Williams.  Williams suggested that by bringing the system in-house the day-to-day running costs were set to fall substantially...