National Record Locator (NRL)

Sharing information across health and social care services

What is the NRL?

The NRL is the future of sharing information to and within the NHS and is already accessible to all parts of the health service via the Summary Care Record Application. It allows all parties involved in the direct care of a patient to have access to shared information within England. 

National Record Locator (NRL) allows sharing of information with health and social care services nationally, such as the Advance Care Plan and the Hospital Pack/eRedBag, so that other services, such as GPs, Hospitals and Ambulance services, can access it. In the future, we hope to use the NRL to be able to look up information, such as discharge letters. 

Although the NRL is universally available to clinicians, paramedics, GPs and Community teams, it works best when integrated into a single system for a user - this has been done in 2020 for the ambulance services and is starting to happen for the Local Health and Care Records (LHCRs). 

The Digital Care System is currently concentrating on the Emergency Transfer to Hospital pathway, providing residents with proven care and well-being benefits. The Digital Care System does this by providing Ambulance crews with the Advance Care Plan and DNACPR documents as they are on route to a care home and with the "URGENT REFERRAL FROM CARE HOME TO HOSPITAL (Hospital pack)" as soon as the ambulance accepts the resident for transfer to hospital.

PCS Oversight of information


Sharing information in advance reduces delays, making it more likely resident treatment wishes are adhered to, and the staff better understand any barrier nursing issues before laying a hand on the patient. 

Sharing information about residents' long-term needs and wishes improves their pathway through acute care if admitted to a ward from the emergency referral. 

In future, the Digital Care System will continue to expand the information shared via the NRL as standards become available. Soon, the shared care record will be attainable nationally, and the NRL will allow care homes to contribute and access all information required for the direct care of a resident/patient.  

What is needed to use NRL?

  • Emergency situations via NHS NRL
    You’ll need to sign the “Emergency situations via NHS NRL” in the Digital Care System

Our Joined Up Care initiatives

PCS GP Connect

GP Connect

PCS eRed bag


PCS Reporting-1

Personal Demographics Service (PDS)

PCS Oversight of information

National Record Locator (NRL)


Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB)

PCS Secuirty

Information Governance and Security