The documentation Webservices Implementation and Syndication Guide details how to use the syndication feeds, explaining how the feeds work. It doesn’t give the means or methods by which to integrate the feeds – you will need knowledge of some form of back-end scripting language, such as PHP or .NET. Additionally, you will find other related blog posts for more information about feeds, videos and other tools.
The Care Act places a requirement on each local authority to provide information about local care providers and advice on relevant care topics, either individually or in partnership with other authorities. NHS Choices provides a significant amount of health and social care content, which can be consumed by third party sites without charge.
Integrating NHS Choices content into local authority sites offers an extremely cost-effective way of meeting the advice and information requirements of the Care Act. The attached paper aims to highlight key areas of the content that is available for syndication and how it might be implemented. It is intended to promote discussion that may lead to a set of requirements/specifications.
The NHS Health Check is your chance to get a free midlife MOT. For adults in England aged 40-74 without a pre-existing condition, the NHS Health Check will assess your risk of getting a vascular disease like type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease or chronic kidney disease. This guide explains what happens at the NHS Health Check, when and how you can get one, and what you could do to lower your risk. This content is now available via syndication, with a widget to follow shortly. Additionally, we have lots of related lifestyle and health tips, which will enable you to offer a comprehensive package of information – now including videos highlighting the benefits of having an NHS Health Check.
For information on how to use the NHS Health Check content effectively, please speak to firstname.lastname@example.org. For help with implementing the content, or how to use the supporting material, speak to email@example.com. You can also access related content, tools, widgets and videos that allow you communicate better the NHS Health Check message.
Additional content available
This spreadsheet outlines supporting information, such as videos tools and widgets, that can help you to back up your messages around the NHS Health Check. If you want to take the content via the full syndication route, the links are also shared here. We’ve also broken the supporting articles into lifestyle sections, to help you position them correctly.
If you wish to syndicate any of the content-marked widgets, please get in touch with the syndication team, who can help you to build them. Additionally, find some guidance on how to embed NHS Choices videos on your digital platforms.
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.
The NHS symptom checkers help users assess symptoms and advice on the best possible treatment for specific conditions. The tools guide users through a series of questions that seek to establish their current health situation depending on gender, age and other physical and mental factors.
In order to access the tool for use on your website, you need to follow the instructions and register through our NHS Choices website. You will be given a unique URL which contains a unique code to access the tools. This URL will direct you to the symptom checker of your preference and embed it into your website by using the iframe function.
We have over 45 different symptom checkers customised for different conditions. Please make sure you interlink the symptom checker pages to other relevant content pages, so that users can easily find them, maximising their value on your website.
You can find more supporting information in the following guides:
If you experience any problems please email email@example.com
Any NHS Choices syndicated content must incorporate the following attribution (credit) to NHS Choices:
The logo should be placed, above the fold, and remain clearly visible in line with the associated content on every web page that contains the NHS Choices syndicated content. You should also link this logo to the relevant page on the NHS Choices website that the content has been supplied from. This URL is supplied as part of the feed.
If you are displaying NHS Choices Syndicated Content in a context where a functional link back to the article on the NHS Choices website is not possible then you should use the following attribution (credit):
We’ve created an example of how to build a services application, using a scripting language (RUBY in this case). This should allow you to see how the process works, and can be applied across services, as well as organisations. It doesn’t matter what language you use – this should show you how to get started. You can see the entire project at GitHub, which also contains an explanation of what we’ve done. We hope to release more of these over the coming months.
Question and answer sets are available from the question & answer service which is accessible for each service type. This replaces the need to request the questions for ratings from the syndication team.
An example implementation for hospitals is:
The overall rating question (called the friends & family test) is missing one possible answer which is Answer ID: 0 Answer Text: Don’t know
It should read as follows:
Question ID: 7
Question Text: Friends and Family
Answer ID: 0
Answer Text: Don’t know
Answer ID: 1
Answer Text: Extremely unlikely
Answer ID: 2
Answer Text: Unlikely
Answer ID: 3
Answer Text: Neither likely or unlikely
Answer ID: 4
Answer Text: Likely
Answer ID: 5
Answer Text: Extremely likely
The NHS Choices Syndication Definition talks through how to post comments using the API to the NHS Choices platform. Currently this service is available for GPs, hospitals, dentists, opticians, pharmacies and care homes. In order to use it, you’ll need to have signed up for an API key, and have an understanding of how to use .xml via POST method. In order to test, it is recommended you use a tool such as http://code.google.com/p/poster-extension/ (for Firefox browser) or similar.
As well as agreeing to the Comment Capture T&Cs, you’ll also need to read the comment capture guidance notes, and refer to the organisation responses, which can be found at http://v1.syndication.nhschoices.nhs.uk/organisations/gppractices/questionsandanswers?apikey=[APIKEY] (assuming your organisation type is GP). In addition, you’ll need your own unique posting organisation ID – speak to your syndication manager to obtain this. Finally, before reporting issues, it’s a good idea to check your .xml is valid. Refer not only to the expected response codes (2.1.1), but also to an .xml validator, such as http://www.xmlvalidation.com/index.php?id=1&L=0. Please note that white space may cause an issue.
When using the scorecard data within syndication, the list of metrics is fairly long. Use the scorecardMetrics document to identify the metrics you wish to use. If you have any queries about scorecard, please speak to your syndication manager, who will put you in touch with the data team, who’ll be able to explain how it works.
When a comment is moderated, before being posted to NHS Choices, the moderation team will assign it one or more tags, identifying what the comment is about. This is exposed in the syndication feeds, in the element
with each individual tag being an <li> item. Using the syndication feeds, either by taking the comment feed and using the requisite elements, or using the ‘Comments by tag’ functionality within the API. Using
for example, it’s possible to refine the comments by tag. The commentTags document contains a list of all available tags.