NHS England have confirmed to Digital Health News that all physical data centres have now been decommissioned following the successful move of NHS Spine to the cloud earlier this year.

NHSE confirmed to Digital Health News on 3 January: “The data centres have been fully decommissioned on time and as planned. This was completed just before the Christmas break

The national body moved NHS Spine to the cloud to provide a secure, adaptable and sustainable infrastructure for the health and care system in England. Moving to the cloud enables data integration between care settings, as well as providing faster transactions and the ability to scale as needed.

NHSE told Digital Health News in December that it is “now working to optimise existing services by making use of native cloud services and reducing dependencies between parts of Spine to make it easier to upgrade and further reduce running costs and expand internet access for all our users”.

Spine, which reached one billion transactions in a month for the first time at the end of 2018, currently handles over 1.3 billion messages a month and at peak times is processing more than 3,200 messages a second.

It allows information to be shared securely through national services such as the Electronic Prescription Service, the Personal Demographics Service, the Summary Care Record and the e-Referral Service.

The Spine Futures programme has been created to transform Spine. It has six objectives: enable rapid response to changing health and care demands, deliver better user outcomes, comply with NHS architecture principles, foster ecosystem innovation, rationalise the cost of provision, and optimise operations.