Every month, millions of visitors search for health and care services on NHS Choices. Users can search for detailed information on care homes and domiciliary care services including, facilities, staff and service specialities.
Each social care organisation has the ability to update its own profile but it has become clear that many profiles remain incomplete. The Organisation API will solve this problem by enabling providers and their partners to update information on behalf of individual and multiple social care organisations.
By using the API, providers of multiple social care organisations will avoid the time consuming task of updating service information on many different profile pages as the API enables profile updates from corporate websites. Providers without technical resources can also benefit. They can nominate one out of five comparison site partners to have editing rights on their profiles. The partner will then use the API to update the listing information from its own site, through the API, directly into the provider’s profile page.
Currently, the API supports updates to the ‘Overview’, ‘Services’, ‘Contact, map and Directions’ tabs. The ability to post photos and information in the ‘What we Offer’ tab will follow later in the year.
A similar service for pharmacy providers will be completed by the end of July and will allow pharmacists to update overview information, opening hours and a list of services. We are also looking to extend the API to other organisation types in the near future.
The Organisation API is organised around RESTful principles – each resource has a unique URI, and HTTP verbs are used to specify the action to perform on that resource.To write a client application for the API, syndication partners will need to use a full-featured HTTP client library that supports the HTTP verbs: GET, POST, PUT and DELETE. Most modern development languages including .NET, PHP, Ruby and Java will communicate with the API.
Partners looking to build apps using GET requests to access social care provider information should continue using the V1 syndication feeds. The GET requests that form part of this service should only be used by partners looking to post information into NHS Choices.
To use the service, partners will need to register for an API key from:
Providers will also need to contact the Service Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) to order to link their profile(s) to the API.
For further information please email the Service Desk for a user guide.