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Version 2 API: overview


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Version 2 of our API is now available. The new version differs from Version 1 in some important ways:

  • Version 2 offers a wider range of content, including stories, responses, tags, health services and treatment functions
  • Content is available in JSON, JSONP and XML representations
  • API access is always in the context of a subscription on Care Opinion

As a result, use of the version 2 API is both time-bound and scoped to the same set of stories and responses as your subscription.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need the API at all?

Using the API typically requires the ability to write computer code. If this is not you, you might want to consider alternative ways to show Care Opinion stories on your website, such as widgets or RSS/Atom feeds.

I do need the API. How do I access it?

To access the API you need a current subscription which includes the data you want, and which includes API access. When you log into such a subscription you will find the keys you need to use in your requests to the API.

If the subscription expires, access to the API will also cease.

I have a subscription but it doesn't include API access. What now?

Please contact us. You may need to upgrade your subscription.

I don't have a subscription. How do I get one?

Please contact us to discuss what you need. If you are part of a health service organisation, you may already have a subscription.

While many organisations will need a paid-for subscription, some will qualify for free access.

I am using the version 1 API. How do I transition to version 2?

Please contact us to discuss what you need. You will need a subscription on Care Opinion to enable access.

Is there more than one API level?

Yes. Version 2 is currently available at two levels: Basic and Enhanced. The Enhanced level offers additional content not available at the Basic level.

Will version 2 change further?

Yes. We plan to add further content to the Enhanced level in coming months.

Can I do what I like with the data I retrieve via the API?

The API provides access to data from both NHS Choices and from Care Opinion. Each organisation imposes licence conditions on how you may use the data.

Care Opinion data is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 licence (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Please note this licence does not permit commercial use of our data. If you intend to use our data for a commercial purpose, please contact us for a commercial licence.

NHS Choices applies its own syndication licence terms

How do I learn more about using the API?

Please follow the "more information" links from this page to find additional documentation.

I need some technical support. Can I speak with someone?

If you already have a subscription you can contact our subscriber support team who will advise. If you don't have a subscription, please email us.

You may also find the linked documentation here helpful, and blog posts relating to our API.