NHS Digital has permitted the use of a virtual Smartcard and streamlined processes for physical cards, giving new staff fast access to hospital systems. This is important for the new Nightingale Hospitals where thousands of staff need to be verified and onto systems quickly.
NHS Digital has centrally procured a virtual smartcard solution with Isosec, making the licences available immediately and ensuring that NHS organisations can quickly access new physical smartcards.
The process for verifying new users has also been streamlined, whilst still maintaining security. This involves a remote verification system by video call, so that social distancing measures and remote working can be supported.
These measures will support NHS organisations to get new and returning members of staff onto NHS systems quickly and smoothly.
The virtual Smartcards will be available centrally for organisations who need them to support their COVID-19 response. As well as providing easier access for staff, the virtual smartcards will also reduce contamination risk.
Physical smartcards and readers remain available and NHS Digital has put a range of measures in place to support their fast deployment, including offering to bulk print Smartcards for organisations who need this support.
Patrick Clark, Programme Director for the COVID-19 Access Logistics Hub at NHS Digital, explains: “With the new virtual smartcards and our increased capacity to rapidly provide large volumes of physical smartcards, we hope to be able to provide the NHS frontline with the systems and services they need to meet the challenge posed by COVID-19.
“Our aim to is to be responsive to the needs of the NHS and social care and to put in place whatever measures possible to reduce their burden.
“We want to ensure that NHS staff don’t have to spend time thinking about things like smartcards or access to systems because the processes are in place to make this as easy as possible.”
More information is available at https://digital.nhs.uk/coronavirus/professionals#new-starters-and-smartcards