GP Connect Send Document

This guidance is under active development by NHS Digital and content may be added or updated on a regular basis.
This version of GP Connect Send Document supports one use-case which is a Consultation Summary (PDF).
Additional use-cases are expected to be supported in 2023.

How to handle attachments

At the time of writing this guidance, it is expected that GP Connect Send Document will be used to send a PDF containing clinical information - for example, a Consultation Summary Report; however, additional attachments could be sent within the payload.

This section shows you how to handle attachments that may be sent with the FHIR payload.

Attachment types

The MIME type of the content being sent. It is expected that application/pdf will be the most common use case for this capability; however, a list of common health related MIME types has been provided below.

Extension Kind of document MIME type
.pdf Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) application/pdf
.doc Microsoft Word application/msword
.docx Office Open XML Word extension application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document
.rtf Rich-text format application/mswrtford
.html Hypertext Markup Language text/html
.txt Plain text text/plain
.xml Extensible Markup Language text/xml
.jpg / .jpeg JPEG images image/jpg
.png Portable Network Graphics image/png
.tiff Tag Image File Format image/png

Handling a PDF

Each use case for GP Connect Send Document must send a summary of the data being sent.

The wireframe below contains a lose structure of the expected datapoints within a PDF.

Handling images

Images can be sent with this capability; however, care should be taken in relation to the subject and sensitivity of the image. Additional metadata (such as consent) may need to be provided.

Note: At this time, a use case for sending images with this capability has not been defined - therefore, no additional guidance can be provided.

Handling large attachments

Although MESH can handle very large files, it is possible that receiving systems are configured to reject attachments received over a certain size. In the event of this happening, an infrastructure acknowledgement will be returned to the sender:

20015 – Message Too Large

If the intended recipient is unable to receive this information, we recommended the sender provides additional metadata in the summary PDF regarding the attachments that are unable to be sent - such as the:

  • file name
  • file timestamp
  • file size

This is so that the receiving GP practice can contact the sender of the payload for more information about the attachments, if required.

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