HL7 delivers healthcare interoperability standards

NHS Interoperability Toolkit (ITK)

The Department of Health published the Information Strategy ('The power of information') on 21st May 2012. 

On 31 August 2012 they announced a new fund to stimulate NHS digital innovation. 

NHS Organizations can bid for funding if their ideas demonstrate value for money and can easily be adopted by other organizations as part of the NHS Interoperability Toolkit (ITK).

HL7 and the ITK

  • The toolkit is based on HL7 standards, version 2 and version 3, both of which are already deployed widely in the NHS.
  • HL7 UK Members can use the members mailing list to discuss HL7 aspects of the ITK.
  • HL7 UK ran a series of Roadshows in 2011 to promote healthcare interoperability. Presentations are available here...>>

Access to the ITK

The NHS Connecting for Health website has dedicated ITK pages including:

  • ITK Background

  • Standards, Frameworks and service definitions

  • Accreditation

  • Making ITK Work

The ITK network group and associated forum, on NHS Networks, is open to anyone who is interested in the Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) and wants to know more. It provides an opportunity for group members to share information on successful ITK adoption projects, engage in technical discussions on enhancing the ITK to address NHS business needs or just to ask a question. It also allows the ITK team to share related documentation and publicise ITK related events.

(28/07/2014)New Releases Available: 

TK Documentation Refresh 28/07/2014

Interoperability Toolkit V3.1 14/10/2013

Interoperability Toolkit Core 26/02/2013

Interoperability Toolkit HL7v2 28/01/2013

The release contains Version 1.0 (Final) of the Interoperability Toolkit HL7 v2 Specification Pack. The naming of the release now corresponds to the release version. This release supersedes Release 2.0.1 of the Interoperability Toolkit Pack, which was issued on 31st July 2012.

Interoperability Dashboard 23/01/2013

ITK Security Requirements Accreditation and Concessions 09/01/2013

V3.0 NHS Interoperability Toolkit Correspondence released 11/12/12 

The NHS interperability Toolkit Subpack Correspondence has changed status to become "Final"

Each CDA Correspondence DMS has been amended, where the status is change to "Final", with a new relaese date, but the version number remains the same as the previous DMS release.  The DMS Change Histories have also been updated.

Therefore the NHS Interoperability Toolkit Subpack: Correspondence has been versioned up (minor update) to 2.1, to reflect that its contents have changed.

(17/10/2012) A new release of the V2 Interoperability Accreditation pack is now available for download from the following directory

NHS Interoperability Framework home

We recommend all user access and download using the new TRUD site.

Registration for each sub pack is required in order to download the each specification.

To express an interest in deploying first of type, or for technical enquiries not related to the TRUD download process, please contact ITK Toolkit enquiries

For all TRUD download queries,
You can also telephone for advice and support.
Our telephone number is +44 0845 13 00 114
and our FAX number is +44 1392 206945.
We are available weekdays from 9am to 5pm.

If you no longer want to receive e-mails related to your subscriptions you can use Manage subscriptions to change your e-mail preferences.


  • [20/08/12] ITK Telehealth V2.0 release from TRUD site
  • [31/07/12] Maintenance release 2.01 available from TRUD site
  • [26/03/13] An updated Interoperability Toolkit Dashboard v2.0.0 Releases is now available for download from the following location: ITK Dashboards
  • [19/01/12] A new Version 2.0 of the Interoperability Toolkit Spine Mini Services pack has been re-released. This new version includes: A modification to the PN.NHS.PersonNameType2 flavour to make the use attribute optional.
  • [13/12/11] Updated Version 2.0.0 of the Interoperability Toolkit Accreditation pack is now available to download, this version includes;
    - A new accreditation scope guidance page
    - Enhanced guidance included within the Supplier certified requirements spreadsheet
    - Acknowledgement Framework test sequence diagrams
    - Latest enhanced Test bench (v1.34-svt-20111206) - release note within accreditation pack contains change details
    - Full testbench support for ITK2 Correspondence pack - including automatic domain validation
    - Full testbench support for ITK Dashboard pack message validation
    - SOAP wrapped message examples for all web services, including HL7 v2 'pipe and hat' base 64 encoded payload examples
    - Test automation aid - Single simulator function for all ITK2 web services
  • [30-11-11] Two release subpacks for NHS Interoperability toolkit have been introduced.
    • ITK Specifications Reference Pack
      The Interoperability Specifications Reference Pack is a periodic publication of referenced content type within interoperability specifications. The Reference Pack consists of the following:
      - OID Catalogue: For usage of OIDs please refer to individual Domain Message Specifications.
      - HL7 v3 Vocabulary: For usage of HL7 v3 Vocabularies please refer to individual Domain Message Specifications.
      - HL7 v2 Vocabulary: For the definitive source for HL7 v2 Vocabularies please refer to the NHS Interoperability Toolkit HL7v2
      - SNOMED CT Subsets: For the definitive source for SNOMED CT subsets please refer to the Combined Terminology Bi- Annual Release on the Technology Reference Data Update Distribution Service. For usage of SNOMED CT subsets please refer to individual Domain Message Specifications.
    • ITK Health and Social Care Integration Domain Message Specification pack
      The Health and Social Care Integration Domain Message Specification supports the communication requirements of the Common Assessment Framework for Adults. The programme of work has three core components: Assessment with Care and Support Planning, Hospital Discharge Notifications to Social Care and NHS Continuing Healthcare.
  • [16-09-11]The NHS Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) Release 2 has been updated to include a new sub-pack - NHS Interoperability Toolkit CDA Functional Requirements [more info]
    This contains the requirements for systems sending or receiving messages containing NHS Connecting for Health published message specifications for CDA Documents (e.g. Discharge, OutPatient, A&E, OOH and Ambulance Reports). 
    It covers the handling of CDA Documents by clinical applications and the processing and transmission of these by Message Handling Systems between parties over a variety of transports.

  • [11-07-25] The NHS Interoperability Toolkit release 2 release is now available for download

  • [11-04-11] Candidate specification for ITK 2.0 Spine Mini Services - allowing controlled access to the NHS Personal Demographic Service

Please note: Vendors using the specifications are required to have purchased a license to use HL7 IP or to be an organisational member in good standing of HL7 UK or of HL7 International


In order to receive accreditation, a vendor must demonstrate the technical conformance of their product with the ITK requirements by submitting evidence of this conformance to CFH for review.

Accredited Companies:
Please refer to the NHS CFH Accreditation Catalogue for latest update and full product listing 

  • Healthcare Gateway Limited
  • Intersystems
  • PCTI Solutions Ltd
  • Fiorano Ltd

As of 14th November 2011, all new requests for accreditation and support will be against Release 2.0, CFH no longer accept requests to provide accreditation or support services for Releases 1.0 or 1.1.

Last modified 18/10/13