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Creating an integration toolkit for NHS login
Rebecca Jarratt, lead delivery manager for NHS login partner onboarding, explains how the NHS login team worked with organisations to develop a self-service toolkit that supports them to adopt NHS login – while ensuring the team maintains control over the integration process.
8 January 2020
NHS login is a single, secure login that enables you to swiftly access health and social care apps and websites wherever you see the NHS login button. It was first introduced with the NHS App in September 2018. Since then, more than 384,000 people have now set up an NHS login, 214,000 of which have gone on to verify their identity. These numbers are growing every day.
But NHS login is much more than the way you log in to the NHS App. It is one of the keys to changing people’s experience of digital health services: a single login that gives individuals secure access to multiple NHS digital services and helps those services to link together.
In many ways, it is similar to your Google or Apple account – and it will have the same potential to support simple and secure use of interlocking digital tools.
Another key thing we all learned is that testing out NHS login user journeys in the sandpit is crucial.
We first worked with four digital services, who are now live with NHS login, to co-design a process that took developers from initial exploration of NHS login to integration in live services.
We worked closely with these initial four organisations, running weekly catch-up calls and checkpoints, but quickly learned this wouldn’t be sustainable when dealing with a large number of services – we needed to move to a more self-service approach. The first four told us that emails and phone calls on an ad hoc basis are sufficient when combined with the information that we host on GitHub and our developer chat channel Slack, so that’s our approach to communication now.
Another key thing we all learned is that testing out NHS login user journeys in the sandpit is crucial. The sandpit is a copy of our live production code environment that helps partners learn how to integrate with our service.
Initial go-live with NHS login worked well when developers explored, tested and worked through the end-to-end user journeys between their service and ours in the sandpit. When this didn’t happen, go-live was less successful. Learning from this, the new self-service model requires developers to connect and explore the NHS login journeys in the sandpit before we begin the integration process together.
NHS login provides patients with a simple, secure and re-usable way to access multiple digital health and care services.
The NHS App provides a simple and secure way for people to access a range of NHS services on their smartphone or tablet.